Diablo Immortal is a free-to-play, multiplayer online action role-playing game developed by Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase.

An installment of the Diablo series, takes place between the events of Diablo II and Diablo III. Players choose and control a character class – Barbarian, Mage, Monk, Necromancer, Demon Hunter or Crusader – who must locate and destroy hidden fragments of the Worldstone to prevent the Lord of the Curse, Skarn, from destroying the world of Sanctuary. .

Diablo Immortal has faced several points of criticism, from its progression system to its focus on microtransactions. The online action role-playing game's problems worsened even further as its launch in the Chinese market was delayed.

Diablo Immortal, the latest iteration of the long-running series, has faced multiple points of criticism, from its progression system to its focus on microtransactions. The free-to-play multiplayer online action role-playing game's problems were further compounded as its launch in the Chinese market was delayed, with rumors claiming that the game may have been banned entirely.

Diablo Immortal game banned in China? Read on.

Diablo Immortal game banned in China? Read on.

The developers of NetEase, officially announced that the reason for delaying the launch of their game in China would be to make optimizations. However, circulating on social media is that a NetEase employee criticized Xi Jinping on the Chinese social media app Weibu, with rumors that the game would be banned in that country.

According to a Reuters report, gaming giant NetEase was scheduled to release the title last week.

According to the Chinese publication Radio Free Asia, the post made by a verified NetEase employee criticizing Xi Jinping was quickly taken down and cannot be found on Weibu.

They further clarify why the seemingly benign statement, roughly translated as "Why doesn't the bear come down?" is a controversial statement in the current Chinese scenario:

A Chinese financial scholar told this station that the word “bear” in Chinese vocabulary and public opinion represents incompetence, cowardice, inefficiency and frequent mistakes. It is easy to associate it with negative and moral judgments. If “bear” is still associated with “leaving office”, it means… leaving the political arena, or leaving the current position and resigning, which insinuates the CCP's most sensitive nerve.

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“Resigning is the most taboo political topic for any local leader or current leadership in China. This year he wants to start his third term at the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, so this year's public opinion environment is even worse...

(Translated from Radio Free Asia)

Although it has not been confirmed that this is the real reason behind from the delay of Diablo Immortal , recent events in Chinese politics and chinese game industry strongly suggest that this could be a reason for the game lag.

In this case, there are other implications for the future capacity of the NetEase, Activision / Blizzard e Microsoft to launch its titles in the huge Chinese market.

When Diablo Immortal was first announced at Blizzcon in 2018, the mobile-focused title received harsh feedback from fans.

One of the reasons fans speculated that the game still had the green light was to cater to the Chinese market, as it was developed by a Chinese company and most Chinese gamers play mobile games.

In this context, the news that it may have been delayed or banned entirely because a NetEase employee criticized Xi Jinping is nothing short of hilarious.