The Chinese release of Diablo Immortal may be in trouble after the game’s official Weibo account compared Chinese leader Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh.
While Diablo Immortal was released on June 2 in the US, it has still not been released in China. Now, based on a Weibo post from the game’s official account, it may take a while before it does.
According to translations of the post, the official Diablo Immortal Weibo account apparently insulted Xi Jinping, China’s leader, in a mixture of epic proportions.
Diablo Immortal Weibo account mocks Xi Jinping
The post reads “Why is (Winnie) the bear not leaving the office yet?” and refers to Winnie the Pooh, with whom Xi has been compared in the past. The Chinese leader does not like these comparisons, which has been the reason why various games and media have been 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.
“A guy who works in Diablo Immortal’s marketing team (who has access to the official social media account) did something very sensitive,” they explained. “Now we do not know if he forgot to change account or he used DI’s official account on purpose – but the result is that he used DI’s official account to post a thread complaining ‘When would BJØRNEN (suggests chairman Xi) fall off the seat? ‘»
The post itself only got attention when it started going viral on Weibo, which has reportedly resulted in harsh penalties for NetEase, Blizzard’s distribution partner in China.
“That’s why DI marketing was completely shut down in China, and Netease itself was also heavily affected,” they continued. “Rumor has it that Netease will not get a game publishing license for the next three full years, but we do not know if that is true or not.”
Diablo Immortal is banned in China because their Weibou account makes a post mocking Xi jinping from DiabloImmortal
If NetEase fails to publish games over the next three years, it could affect all Blizzard games, not just Diablo Immortal.
“If true, it will also affect Diablo4, Overwatch 2 and WoW Dragonflight, and may even force Blizzard to switch partners on mainland China,” the Chinese fan continued.
Immortal’s release is delayed in China has been known, but before Blizzard said it was to “implement quality of life changes” and “optimize” the game.
There is no official confirmation that the game has been directly banned in China, but now that this Weibo post has come out, the “surprise” delay is not so much surprising anymore.