. 14 hours ago
Diablo Immortal’s Chinese release could face trouble after the game’s official Weibo account compared Chinese leader Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh.
While Diablo Immortal was released in the US on June 2nd, it still hasn’t released in China. Now, based on a Weibo post from the game’s official account, it could be quite a while before that happens.
According to translations of the post, the official Diablo Immortal Weibo account apparently insulted Xi Jinping, the leader of China, in a confusion of epic proportions.
Diablo Immortal Weibo account mocks Xi Jinping
The post and translation that allegedly landed Diablo Immortal in hot water.
The post reads “Why isn’t (Winnie) the bear leaving office yet?” and refers to Winnie the Pooh, to whom Xi has been compared in the past. The Chinese leader doesn’t like these comparisons, which has led to various games and media being banned in the past.
On the game’s subreddit, a post about the reported ban included an excerpt from a Chinese Diablo fan that provided more context.
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“A guy who works on the Diablo Immortal marketing team (who has access to the official social media account) did something very sensitive,” they explained. “Well, we don’t know if he forgot to switch accounts or if he used DI’s official account on purpose – but the result is that he used DI’s official account to post a thread, who complains, ‘When would THE BEAR (implying Chairman Xi) fall off his seat?’”
The post itself only caught attention when it went viral on Weibo, which has reportedly led to harsh penalties for NetEase, Blizzard’s distribution partner in China.
“Therefore, DI marketing in China was completely shut down, and Netease itself was also badly affected,” they continued. “Rumor has it that Netease won’t be licensed to publish games for the next three years, but we don’t know if that’s true or not.”
If NetEase can’t release games for the next three years, it could affect every Blizzard game, not just Diablo Immortal.
“If true, it will also affect Diablo 4, Overwatch 2 and WoW Dragonflight and may even force Blizzard to change its cooperation partner in mainland China,” the Chinese fan continued.
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Immortal’s release in China was known to be delayed, but before that Blizzard said it was “implementing quality of life changes” and “tweaking” the game.
There’s no official confirmation that the game has been completely banned in China, but now that this Weibo post has come to light, the “surprising” delay is no longer a huge surprise.