NetEase Shares Drop By 10% After Diablo Immortal Delayed In China

NetEase recently announced that Diablo Immortal won't be released in China until further notice.

Diablo is one of the most popular Blizzard IPs in the gaming world. It’s a huge phenomenon among the players due to its lore and a very interesting setting in the world of Sanctuary. The series has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide and continues to do well.

Recently, we saw the release of the latest game from the Diablo franchise. Diablo Immortal came out just 2 weeks ago on mobile and PC. Since then, the game has been at the center of attention due to its controversial microtransactions.

The new MMO from Blizzard has a progression system that focuses heavily on real-life money. In spite of this mechanic, the free-to-play game has been doing well as it has made $24 million from microtransactions. However, a recent event may become a hurdle in Diablo Immortal’s success.

Diablo Immortal will not release in China for at least a few more weeks, after an official statement from NetEase confirming this rumor (thanks, Reuters). All of this comes as a big shock, as the game was only 3 days away from its official release in the country.

NetEase delayed Diablo Immortals’ release in China after the game’s official Weibo account got banned from posting. Weibo is a Chinese blogging website and the game’s official account is forbidden from posting anything there, as of last Wednesday. The platform gave us no official reason for this ban, so all of this is pretty mysterious.

Some players think that the reason for the delay is actually the ban itself. The official Weibo account of Diablo Immortal criticized Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. As a result, the account could not post on the platform anymore, so the delay could be due to this.

Diablo Immortal
Weibo post from the official Diablo Immortal account saying, “why isn’t (Winnie) the bear going out of office yet?”

In its official statement, NetEase has said that the delay is to work on some game optimization and providing support for a wider range of devices. However, players are mostly sure that the actual reason is this and not what the statement says. No release date is official as of now for Diablo Immortal so the game’s release is completely mysterious.

This has already started hurting NetEase, as the share of the company took a huge fall. Recently, a 10% decrease in the share price happened on Monday, following the delay of the title. Not releasing Diablo Immortal in China will further hurt the company in the future, as it is the game’s main market.

Ahmed Mansoor

Your average video games enjoyer with a deep passion for single-player adventures who writes about his favorite hobby.