Diablo Immortal delays its launch in China, sending NetEase stock into freefall

    
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It would appear that investors of the Chinese games giant NetEase were pinning a lot of hopes on Diablo Immortal’s launch to China. The publisher announced a surprise postponement of the mobile RPG’s arrival to the country, which in turn sent its stock plunging by nearly 11% in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Tech index – the most its stock value has dropped in nine months.

A notice from NetEase and Blizzard on the game’s official website states the devs “needed additional time for content enhancement in pushing back the game’s availability in China,” with no date for its arrival to the country included in the announcement. The game has also postponed its launch to other Asia-Pacific regions, but only until July 8th.

On a potentially tangential note, DI’s official account on Chinese social media platform Weibo was reportedly blocked from posting last week due to “violating relevant laws and regulations.” Readers will note that the country has only just begun approving games licenses after a months-long governmental crackdown on gaming and tech firms, which we’ve been documenting for about as long.

In other DI news, livestreamer Quin69 effectively ragequit live on air after spending nearly $16K USD on legendary crests in an effort to get a five-star gem to drop in the game’s elder rifts. Once he finally got his item, he uninstalled the game, reinstalled it, destroyed the gem, then uninstalled the game, chased by a swear-riddled tirade against Blizzard.

Many are questioning the wisdom of his stunt, arguing that the money he spent on the game is no longer his and was added to its $24M in revenue, while others support him in literally -and figuratively – giving a middle finger to Blizzard. One such rant is available for viewing below, though we remind you it’s NSFW due to language.

sources: Bloomberg, PCGamesN, thanks to Danny for the tip!
Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial gaming company owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In 2021, the company was sued by California for fostering a work environment rife with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. Multiple state and federal agencies are investigating the company as employees strike and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation. As of 2022, the company is being acquired by no less than Microsoft.
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