Blizzard’s Diablo 3 is finally coming to China via publisher Netease, and despite the long delay, China is starting to get excited. A recent feature on the game on Chinese gaming site 17173 shed some light on where the game is right now.
Amazingly, it turns out that Blizzard and Netease still don’t know much about when the game will be available. According to Blizzard/Netease collaboration marketing head Zhang Dong, the game will “probably” still be called Diablo 3 (黑暗破坏神3), but almost nothing else is clear. After more than 700 days of work on censoring the game for China, Netease still can’t say when the game will launch, what version it will launch with, or even how it will be priced and/or monetized.
In fact, the only thing that Netease is certain of is apparently that the game will have a collectors’ edition. But of course, its contents and pricing are still unclear.
The reason for Netease’s lack of knowledge is that while its work censoring the game is done, Diablo 3 is still in the process of obtaining government approval. The approval process may take some time, and it’s possible that the government could also return the game to Netease, demanding more changes before it can be released. That’s why Zhang Dong wasn’t even willing to say that the game will definitely be called Diablo 3 in China: he says it’s unlikely the government would demand a name change, but “I can’t make the decision for the [government] department; it’s all up to the relevant departments [to make that decision].”