A World of Warcraft mobile game has reportedly been quietly canceled due to financing disputes.
According to Bloomberg, the upcoming smartphone game had been in development for three years but has now been canceled due to a dispute between Activision Blizzard and NetEase.
“The two companies disagreed over terms and ultimately called a halt to the project, which had been kept under wraps,” said a source close to the deal.
The project, referred to as “Neptune” by those working on it, was said to be a Warcraft spin-off, set during a different period to World of Warcraft. It’s unknown whether it would have directly tied into either Warcraft, Warcraft II, or Warcraft III.
As far back as February this year, Activision Blizzard revealed that it was working on multiple mobile Warcraft titles, and this was thought to be one of the big reasons behind Microsoft’s acquisition of the company for a reported $69 billion earlier this year.
Now, it looks as though those mobile games may be up in the air – after all, the extent of Activision Blizzard’s working relationship with NetEase following this high-profile cancellation is uncertain. Another of Activision Blizzard’s mobile games, a Pokemon Go-style AR game, was also canceled.
NetEase currently publishes World of Warcraft in China and is also behind the popular yet controversial mobile game, Diablo Immortal, which has come under fire for its microtransactions. Despite this, Activision Blizzard is set to make a killing with the game, which earned $24 million in its first two weeks.
Whether or not Activision Blizzard and NetEase will continue working on Warcraft mobile titles remains to be seen. But at the moment, Warcraft Arclight Rumble is still full steam ahead. And it looks as though the popular Warcraft franchise is set to continue making them a ton of money.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.