Chinese game developer NetEase sees its development of “Diablo Immortal” as a “huge opportunity to show the world and particularly western gamers NetEase’s strong R&D capabilities, company chief financial officer Charles Yang said in a recent earnings call.
“Out of the three largest online games markets in the world, we now have reached critical acclaim in two: China and Japan. The United States market is a next frontier for NetEase,” Yang said during the call. “Earlier this month, Blizzard Entertainment announced that we are collaborating to develop ‘Diablo Immortal.’ We are very proud that Blizzard has chosen us to help bring one of their largest game franchise to mobile. We consider this a huge opportunity to show the world and particularly western gamers NetEase’s strong R&D capabilities.
“Diablo Immortal” received considerable backlash from Blizzard’s biggest fans when the game’s unveiling was used as the final announcement during the fan-driven BlizzCon event earlier this month. Fans worry that the game, designed for smartphones, wouldn’t stay true to the core concept of the game and that it could distract from work on a main, PC follow-up to “Diablo III.”
Blizzard, for its part, said that the game was one of several Diablo titles in the works and that it was being created from the ground up in partnership with NeatEase.
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NetEase CEO William Ding was asked about the game and other work with Blizzard during the call.
“Our time-proven collaboration is almost a decade long with a very, very pleasant partnership with Blizzard, bringing in great experiences to Chinese gamers,” he said. “And the collaboration on the Diablo mobile game is just another strong testament to this great partnership. We expect if everything goes smoothly that the mobile game of ‘Diablo Immortal’ will be launched globally next year.”