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8:00 am June 21, 2022 By
Diablo Immortal was set to debut in China on June 23rd, but those who have been waiting for the game in the country will need to be very patient. NetEase, which co-developed the game with Blizzard, has pushed back the release date indefinitely. It said in a blog post that “the development team is making a number of optimization adjustments.”
But, there are other factors at play here. NetEase found itself in the crosshairs of China’s censors over a post on its Weibo social media service that seemingly referenced Winnie the Pooh. The cartoon character is often used to mock Chinese President Xi Jinping.
After a screenshot of the post (which read “why hasn’t the bear stepped down?”) gained some traction online, the official Diablo Immortal Weibo account was banned from posting anything else. Discussions related to the post were also erased from the service.
Diablo Immortal does not have a release date in China right now, though NetEase still expects to ship the game in the country. It promised players an “exclusive thank-you package containing legendary equipment” as an apology for the delay.
The PC and mobile title launched in other territories earlier this month. It earned $24 million in two weeks due to its aggressive approach to monetization. However, China is the biggest gaming market on the planet, and not being able to release Diablo Immortal there would likely have a severe impact on the game’s revenue.
Image Credit Blizzard
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