Discord user RVxCobra|WoXian shared today’s NetEease Q3 2020 investors call report. There is a quote that is impactful because right after mentioning Diablo Immortal, the report says many of **these** games will launch before the Chinese New Year (that’s actually February 12, 2021).
If they include Diablo Immortal in that batch of launches, that means Beta Testing should start by the end of November and before the Christmas holidays. Theoretically.
Or maybe they referred only to the other games listed in that quote, and not Diablo Immortal. Either way, it is exciting.
Very difficult to not have an opinion about this quote from the report:
“Further developed a robust pipeline with titles including Unknown Future, Akasha Book, Revelation mobile game, Infinite Lagrange, Harry Potter: Magic Awakened, The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War, Nightmare Breaker, Ghost World Chronicle, Diablo® Immortal™ and Pokémon Quest. Several of these titles, including Revelation mobile game, will be released before Chinese New Year.”
This quote above mentions 10 game titles — including Diablo Immortal. I like the odds of “several of these titles will be released before Chinese New Year.” What are the odds that Diablo Immortal is or not among those several titles to launch? Inquiring minds need to know.
Another thing about this quote that you might overlook… the Diablo Immortal text there has a ™ (trademark). As far as I am aware of, the Diablo Immortal trademark hasn’t been approved yet in China — and I look it up daily religiously. Nor in USA, Canada, EU, New Zealand, Australia. They simply filed the trademark. It needs to be approved. Once it is approved, the status will change from “File date” to “Registered date.”
Whether NetEase knows internally that it has been approved or whether it is flavor text mandated to be there in writing for investors — I don’t know.
In the Reddit-Diablo Immortal Discord, T.Atsiz pointed out a great idea. Let’s search for games that recently started development. Challenge accepted. Research commences.
The term “several” can only be used when there are 3 or more units. The odds for Diablo Immortal are narrowed down to 5 games (orange and yellow).
Green: Confirmed releasing before Feb 12. Red: No info at all. He's dead, Jim. Orange: Beta ended. Awaiting release date or new Beta test announcement, but closer to release. Yellow: Limbo. No release date and no Beta.
- Unknown Future — launches Nov 20 (Android/iOS)
- Akasha Book — No trace online. Might mean the name is in chinese. Or so early in development no announcement or teaser has been made.
- Revelation mobile game — this is confirmed to release before Feb 12.
- Infinite Lagrange — First beta started June 11 and ended June 29, 2020. Second beta test started in Nov 17. Beta will last 2 months. Possible candidate for release.
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened — Closed Beta Test for iOS and Android started on May 29 and ended on June 12 (lasted 15 days). Feels like a good candidate for release, but no official release date which could easily extend past Feb and into Q2-Q4 2021. No website updates since May 25.
- The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War — NetEase/WB Games announced this game June 15. Curiously, Beta started July 15. Ended August 4 (Australia & Phillipines). No release date announcement.
- Nightmare Breaker — Not a trace online. Might mean the name is in chinese. Or so early in development no announcement or teaser has been made.
- Ghost World Chronicle — This game was announced to be in the NetEase pipeline on May 22, 2019. Other than that, not a trace online.
- Diablo® Immortal™ — No Beta. No release date.
- Pokémon Quest — announced in May 29, 2019 at the 2019 Pokemon press conference and NetEase website. A sign was seen at NetEase’s Chinajoy 2020 booth pleading for the game to be approved. I checked Approved Games from August to November. It hasn’t been approved yet. Chances to launch by February 12? Low.
Considering Lords of the Rings: Rise to War went into Beta a month+ after the game was officially announced, it might have been in development secretly for some time. However, there has been no new announcements in the WB Games and NetEase twitter, facebook and websites since the end of Beta. I can see Harry Potter: Magic Awakened and Lord of the Rings: Rise to War remaining in development for another year — especially if that was Beta (1). Sometimes there are multiple Beta tests throughout development. Take Call of Duty: Mobile for example. Especially when those two games belong to huge franchises and need to get it right. Can those two launch before February 12? Chances are low. That gives Diablo Immortal bigger odds to be among the “several titles” to release before February 12, but don’t hold your breath just yet. Let’s observe what happens over the next few weeks and months.
Doesn’t mean we can’t feel excited about this NetEase investors report.
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