Diablo Immortal has had its well-known Chinese release pulled just four days before it was set to be released.
The dungeon crawler, which is free to play, was scheduled to launch in China on June 23rd. This morning, this was no longer the case and the local publisher NetEase stated in a brief statement that they now need for it to “optimise” the game’s experience.
The delay of last minute has caused a stir, particularly due to reports that questioned Diablo Immortal’s practices of monetisation.
In addition, the delay comes after a ban was imposed for Diablo’s official Weibo account, which is China’s main social media site. This account was flagged as having being in “violation of related laws and regulations” and then was barred from further posting as per The South China Morning Post (as discovered by an industry analysts Daniel Ahmad).
Eurogamer has reached out to NetEase as well as Activision Blizzard for more.
“The development team is making a number of optimization adjustments to the game: support for a wider range of models and devices, the highest quality rendering on more models, a lot of experience, network and performance optimizations, and more,” NetEase stated. “We believe that the game experience in the official online version will become smoother and bring better game content to everyone.”
Diablo Immortal was slated to be the primary release title by Activision Blizzard in China, and was approved to launch despite the fact that it focuses on demons as well as other creatures of the underworld, which was a major issue for other similar games due to China’s cultural authorities.
In its own words, NetEase says it still anticipates that the game will launch sometime in the future. The developer has also committed to gamers an “thank you package” of equipment and other materials that to be provided when Diablo Immortal will eventually launch.
Since its release in the west just two weeks ago, Diablo Immortal has earned more than PS20m and has been downloaded more than 8 million times.