The upcoming Chinese release of Diablo Immortal has been delayed at the last minute.
Blizzard‘s free-to-play mobile and PC game was due to be released on June 23 in the region, but a new message on the official Chinese Diablo website (as reported by analyst Daniel Ahmad) has informed players that this will no longer be the case.
“We are sorry to inform you that Diablo: Immortal’s scheduled launch on June 23rd will be delayed,” it reads.
“The development team is working on a number of optimisations to the game – greater device support for a wider range of models, maximum graphics quality on more models, a number of experience, network and performance optimisations and more.
Diablo Immortal - release trailer
“We believe that the game experience will be smoother in the official launch version, bringing you better game content.”
Blizzard hasn’t provided a new release date for the game, but has promised to give players rare items upon launch as an apology.
If Blizzard’s claim is true, it’s unclear why it’s decided to undergo optimisations to Immortal so soon before its planned release.
As noted by Niko Partner’s Ahmad, the delay comes shortly after one of China’s biggest social media platforms, Weibo, banned the official Diablo Immortal account for what it called “violation of related laws and regulations”.
Diablo Immortal did not release in the Netherlands or Belgium due to its use of loot boxes. However, China does not have similar restrictions.
The delay is the latest episode in what has been a controversial launch for Blizzard’s latest game.
This included a report published during the game’s opening weekend that calculated that it could cost players up to $110,000 to fully upgrade a character in the game.
Within 10 days of its release, the game’s Metacritic user score had dropped to 0.2/10 – the lowest ever in the website’s history.
It should be noted that Metacritic user scores do not require proof that the user has even played the game before submitting a score, and that other factors, such as recent Activision Blizzard controversies, may have had an influence.
Despite its criticisms, the game has still reportedly earned Blizzard more than $24 million and been downloaded more than 8 million times.