Diablo Immortal has been delayed in China ahead of its official launch, following a ban received by the game’s official Weibo account. NetEase was supposed to release the game this Thursday, but it has been delayed with no rescheduled date.
According to a statement on Blizzard’s Chinese site (as noted by Kotaku), NetEase’s official stance is that they’re making changes to the game, including “ optimization adjustments”, without further elaboration. This comes days after the company’s official Weibo account was banned from making new posts after a comment interpreted as critical of Chinese leadership.
News of the delay also hit the company’s stock, with prices dropping 10% in this morning’s Hong Kong trading.
There’s no word yet when this new optimization will conclude, nor when the company’s official Weibo could possibly be permitted to operate again. Diablo Immortals scheduled release in China came after regulators for the country gave a license to operate. With the Diablo franchise centering on demons and similar themes, some wonder how it got past licensing since Chinese regulators have been cracking down on such games in recent years.
With the release on June 2nd across several regions, the game has reportedly raked in over $24 million on mobile platforms alone in just the first two weeks of release. This comes as the game has, as most are probably aware of by now, a highly controversial monetization scheme. Reaction to the monetization scheme has been roundly critical, with some calling it predatory, and others looking for the nuances and just what it means for this type of system to go in as hard as it does on presenting a title where you can spend over $100,000 to get fully geared out. You can read our Diablo Immortal review for our final thoughts.
This has also led to review bombing in the user scores section of Metacritic, leading to what VGC has noted is the lowest user score ever, currently sitting at 0.3.