For Diablo Immortal's many detractors, the irony is certainly cause for laughter, since it's commonly believed that the game was largely developed by a Chinese studio, Netease, and was allegedly specifically designed for the Chinese rather than the Western market. This is one of the reasons that could explain the aggressive monetization of the title, which intends to take advantage of the huge player base present in China, in order to make record profits. But, as with so much else in Diablo Immortal, things seem to be taking an unexpected and unfortunate turn for Blizzard.
The official reasons for the postponement of Diablo Immortal
While the game is supposed to be released on June 23 in China , Diablo Immortal's official website has announced that the release has been pushed back . The reason given is that the development team is looking to optimize the game, in order to make it compatible with a wider variety of models, but also to improve the graphics on these devices, provide a better user experience, and optimize performance. online, among other things. The message concludes with the fact that an even better final version is to be expected. No new release date has however been listed , but it is promised to offer rare items to players as compensation.
If the reasons given are true, it's a rather strange decision, since the versions of the game, currently available on mobile and PC, have already been available for more than 2 weeks. This of course looks like a smokescreen, and the real reasons are quite different.
Rumors and explanations behind the postponement
There are currently two other possible explanations behind the postponement of the game, and they have the same source: powerful Chinese regulators. Since the Chinese government is anything but transparent, it is difficult to establish with certainty the extent to which its various branches may have been involved.
The first rumor claimed that the game had its license revoked, following the mass reporting of the game for its abusive monetization to regulatory bodies, by many people. But this does not seem to be an isolated case, and the games concerned would not a priori be prohibited.
The second possible explanation has the merit of having at least one concrete element. The postponement of the game was announced shortly after Diablo Immortal's official account was banned from Weibo, China's largest social network , for violating its terms of service. According to the Financial Times , a Blizzard employee used the account to post a Winnie the Pooh message and cartoon criticizing Chinese President Xi Jinping . Censorship therefore got involved, as well as Chinese nationalists, which would have been enough to block the game for the moment.
Only time will tell if it is indeed a voluntary postponement of a few days, or even a few weeks, the time that the spirits calm down. Or if the situation is much more complicated than it looks, and the future of Diablo Immortal in China is seriously compromised.
For their part, players who already have access to Diablo Immortal are desperately waiting for Blizzard to start communicating on the future of the title, and for the many bugs and balancing problems listed in game (including that of the store) to be quickly corrected.
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