The Warcraft project codenamed “Project Neptune” is no more. Will we ever get WoW Mobile?
From WoW to Woe - Another Abandoned Warcraft Mobile Game
Another Warcraft mobile game has fallen by the wayside this week as the relationship between its two devs - Blizzard and NetEase - has soured. Which is especially awkward given that NetEase is Blizzard’s foot in the door for the incredibly lucrative Chinese market.
The new Blizzard mobile game project has been in development for three years and seemed to be a more like-for-like attempt by Blizzard to move World of Warcraft to mobile screens, instead of pursuing a new genre entirely, as is the case with its soon-to-be-released strategy mobile game, Arclight Rumble.
Codenamed Project Neptune, the spinoff was intended to be set in the same WoW universe but during a different era, which wouldn’t have been difficult given Warcraft’s famously extensive lore. WoW aficionados will no doubt be bitterly disappointed by the development in their dogged pursuit of a Warcraft IP that might reinvigorate the title.
However, according to anonymous information obtained by Bloomberg, the two gaming giants pulled the plug following a dispute over terms. Over 100 developers were removed from their positions, with just a handful offered internal transfers.
The scrapped collaboration will no doubt be extra painful for Blizzard, which relies on NetEase to publish World of Warcraft itself in China. Not only that, but the unstoppable success of Diablo Immortal was supercharged when it was finally released in China - again by NetEase - netting Blizzard over $100 million in revenue within eight weeks.
This isn’t the first Warcraft app game to hit a wall. Before the announcement of Arclight Rumble, Blizzard was poised to create a Warcraft augmented reality title in the same vein as Pokémon Go, only to scrap that project earlier this year too.
Although we’re sure that Blizzard isn’t too worried, given the mountains of cash that Diablo Immortal and, of course, World of Warcraft itself still sits on to this day, the elephant in the room is whether the relationship between Blizzard and its China-based partner has started to deteriorate.
Whether the new Blizzard mobile game project is beyond revival remains to be seen. With Microsoft poised to take the reins following its acquisition of Blizzard, there may still be hope for a new team to find common ground and reignite the Warcraft mobile project.