LONDON: Activision Blizzard, the company behind World of Warcraft, on Wednesday announced its decision to cancel the mobile version of the highly popular online game.
Made in collaboration with the firm's Chinese publishing partner NetEase, the game was in development for three years before a conflict regarding financing terms put an end to the project.
"The two companies disagreed over terms and ultimately called a halt to the project, which had been kept under wraps," a source close to the deal said.
According to sources, NetEase, a China-based Internet technology corporation, laid off more than 100 developers working on the program.
The team behind the project, nicknamed Neptune, claimed it was a spin-off set in a timeframe distinct from the original World of Warcraft released in 2004.
Activision Blizzard and NetEase began their partnership in 2008. Since then, the two companies co-developed popular titles such as the recent Diablo Immortal, and published Blizzard games such as Hearthstone and World of Warcraft in China.
Earlier this year, Activision Blizzard announced the release of Warcraft Arclight Rumble, a mobile action strategy game, indicating the firm's intention to expand into the mobile game market.
Despite the success of some of its titles, Activision Blizzard reported last month drops across revenue, income, and monthly active users.
Activision Blizzard has recently been at the centre of criticism. Last month, UK regulators launched an official investigation into Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and earlier this year the company was hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit, which further exposed its workplace culture to intense scrutiny.
And last year an employee committed suicide while on a company retreat, her parents having since filed their own lawsuit against Activision Blizzard. – Arab News, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia