World of Warcraft developers dump the mobile game

World of Warcraft developers dump the mobile game

Activision Blizzard has canceled the World of Warcraft-based mobile MMO (multiplayer online) game due to a financial dispute with partner NetEase, a Chinese game development company.

Speaking to Bloomberg on the condition of anonymity, an insider revealed their disagreement between Activision Blizzard and NetEase over the terms, which eventually led to the mobile title being discontinued. The game codenamed Jupiter has been in development for over three years.

Project Jupiter was intended to be an MMORPG in the same universe as World of Warcraft, albeit in a different time period. When accessing comments, both NetEase and Activision Blizzard declined to comment.

Activision Blizzard’s entry into the mobile market is relatively new – despite the success of Hearthstone, the mobile card-fighting game that made significant inroads in player numbers and revenue earned, other attempts to break into mobile games have failed. Another Warcraft mobile game, which was inspired by Pokemon Go and was codenamed Orbis, has been canceled after a four-year development period.

Their latest attempt, announced in May, will see them released later this year. The game, called Warcraft Arclight Rumble, has a gameplay similar to Clash Royale, in which players place units strategically as they march on enemy territory.

World of Warcraft was released in China under the watchful eye of NetEase, being the game’s sole distributor since its launch in 2009. However, as a result of Project Jupiter’s cancellation, NetEase has laid off more than 100 employees. Only a few will be diverted internally to other projects, and some will likely go to work on World of Warcraft’s upcoming expansion, Dragonflight.

This is another bump in the path of Activision Blizzard, which awaits the fate of its massive acquisition deal from Microsoft. The deal is so huge that rival Sony sees no way to compete with its flagship Call of Duty title. Despite these claims, Call of Duty is experiencing a sharp decline in user numbers – the series has lost more than 30 million users in the last year.

Original reporting from Bloomberg.

Written by Junior Mayi on behalf of GLHF.

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