World Of Warcraft Mobile Game Is Reportedly Dead At Blizzard

A highly-anticipated "World of Warcraft" mobile game has been canned, apparently over financial disputes, according to a Bloomberg report. Blizzard and its publishing partner in China, NetEase, have put the lucrative project on cold ice after working on it for three years. A team of over 100 employees working on the project has also been released, with only a few being offered the opportunity to move into a different role within NetEase.

Codenamed "Neptune," the mobile adaptation was a spin-off of the main "World of Warcraft" lore, taking place in a different time period than what players have explored so far on its PC version. This isn't the first "Warcraft" mobile game that has been canceled recently. In May of 2022, Bloomberg reported that a "World of Warcraft" mobile game modeled after Niantic's smash-hit Pokémon Go was also axed.

There is no word about what's happening behind the scenes between Blizzard and NetEase and how it affects other mobile titles that are currently in development between the two companies. Blizzard is already at work on an action strategy game called "Warcraft Arclight Rumble" that is up for pre-registration on the Play Store. Notably, NetEase also happens to be the core "World of Warcraft" game distributor in China.

A missed opportunity at another cash machine

In February of 2022, Blizzard confirmed that a mobile game based on "World of Warcraft" was in development and will be released later this year. In the meanwhile, "Diablo Immortal," which was also developed in collaboration with NetEase, continues to make waves. Since its release in June 2022, the game has turned out to be a success. SensorTower notes that the game has already brought in $100 million within a couple of months.

How the cancellation of a "World of Warcraft" mobile game pans out for the partnership between Blizzard and NetEase remains to be seen. In February of 2021, Blizzard's disgraced CEO Bobby Kotick confirmed that "multiple" free-to-play mobile games based on the hit franchise were being actively developed. The fate of those projects also remains unclear.

Given the rise of mobile gaming in the past few years and the success of titles like "Fortnite Mobile," "Call of Duty: Mobile," and "PUBG Mobile" that have spurred their own competitive esports communities, it is no surprise that Blizzard wants a piece of the pie. With a beloved franchise like "World of Warcraft" in its hands, the opportunity is hard to ignore.