World of Warcraft is probably one of the biggest and most successful gaming titles for PC, but it seems that success is hard to translate to mobile platforms. According to an article on Bloomberg, Blizzard and its partner NetEase have scrapped a World of Warcraft project for mobile that was in the works for over three years due to disagreements about finances.
NetEase is Blizzard’s Chinese distribution partner that has been tasked with selling and distributing Warcraft titles in the domestic Chinese market. The company’s partnership also profits from NetEase’s mobile gaming expertise. NetEase is the co-creator of Blizzard’s most successful yet controversial latest mobile hit, Diablo Immortal, and the companies have worked together on numerous projects.
Bloomberg cites people familiar with the matter, saying that the companies disagreed over the exact terms of the deal and ultimately decided to halt it altogether. More than 100 developers working on the project have been dismantled, and only a few were able to find other tasks within NetEase. The World of Warcraft project has been kept under the wraps all this time, but it’s said to take place in the familiar MMORPG world known from the hit 2004 PC game, though it would take place in another era of the fictional world.
Blizzard just launched another mobile Warcraft in May, Arclight Rumble. The strategy game had a bumpy start following widely disliked alpha and beta releases. In our review, resident AP gaming expert Matthew Sholtz calls it a pain due to the limited way to earn in-game currency. The controversy surrounding Diablo Immortal and Warcraft Arclight Rumble may be one reason the development of the World of Warcraft title was halted.
Activision Blizzard itself, meanwhile, has recently been purchased by Microsoft. The Redmond company hopes to break into the mobile market with some of Blizzard’s high-profile titles, so this might not be the end of the road for a World of Warcraft-like title on mobile.