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Diablo Immortal's launch in China has been postponed by NetEase, causing the company's stock to plummet

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - NetEase, the internet and gaming conglomerate, has postponed the debut of its video game Diablo Immortal ...


Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - NetEase, the internet and gaming conglomerate, has postponed the debut of its video game Diablo Immortal in China by three days, just days after the game's official Weibo account was barred from publishing new posts.

NetEase, located in China, did not specify a new release date for the game, but stated on Sunday that it wanted to make changes such as improving the game-play experience and conducting "various optimization tweaks."

The company's statement made no mention of the social media prohibition, and it was unclear what prompted the decision. NetEase did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Diablo Immortal, co-developed by NetEase and Activision Blizzard, is one of the most anticipated games of the year, and its release in China is being eagerly monitored to see how Beijing views the country's $46 billion video game business, which was battered by broad regulatory crackdowns last year.

Chinese regulators granted the company a gaming licence for the game in February, but officials implemented new guidelines months later, effectively halting the issue of new game licences for nearly nine months. The nod drew notice because the Diablo franchise concentrates on battling demons and witches, elements that are considered as incompatible with Chinese authorities' distaste of violent or religious content in video games.

Diablo Immortal was published outside of China on June 2nd, and according to app-tracking company App Magic, it has made over $24 million in its first two weeks. The game's introduction in China was supposed to give it a boost, as the Asian country would be its biggest market.

According to NetEase, the game received pre-registrations from over 15 million users last week.

On Monday, the company's stock dropped more than 9%.



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