Blizzard and NetEase have reportedly canceled a World of Warcraft spin-off that would have been released on mobile devices, according to a Bloomberg report. The report suggests that the game was three years in development, and NetEase had more than 100 developers dedicated to creating content for the game. However, this team has been disbanded and most of them were laid off, although some were able to transfer within the company.
The WoW spin-off was code-named Neptune and was an MMORPG similar to World of Warcraft, except set in a different time period. NetEase and Blizzard Entertainment reportedly had disagreements on the specifics of the project before ultimately deciding to cancel it.
This isn't the first time NetEase and Blizzard have backed a mobile title together, as the recently released Diablo Immortal was another joint project from the two companies. NetEase is also responsible for publishing a number of Blizzard franchises in China, including World of Warcraft, so the two companies have a significant partnership.
This also isn't the first time we've seen a Warcraft mobile game get canceled, as the company's Pokémon GO-inspired title never saw the light of day either. At the very least, Warcraft Arclight Rumble seems to be coming along nicely.
It's unfortunate to see so many developers get laid off, especially since some fans have an intense curiosity regarding what this game would have looked like. World of Warcraft has been our only gateway into Azeroth thus far, so it would've been cool to see what the world was like in a different time.
Fans of Warcraft shouldn't get too dejected though, as WoW: Dragonflight is still set to launch this year, with the public alpha live for a few weeks now.
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Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Momo finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Momo is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.