Diablo Immortal release in China reportedly in jeopardy after Blizzard Weibo account insults Xi Jinping

Bill Cooney
diablo immortal banned in chinaBlizzard Entertainment

The Chinese release of Diablo Immortal could be in trouble after the game’s official Weibo account compared Chinese leader Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh.

While Diablo Immortal released on June 2 in the US, it still hasn’t come out in China. Now, based on a Weibo post from the game’s official account, it could be quite awhile before it does.

According to translations of the post, the official Diablo Immortal Weibo account apparently insulted Xi Jinping, the leader of China, in a mixup of epic proportions.

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Diablo Immortal Weibo account mocks Xi Jinping

The post and translation that reportedly landed Diablo Immortal in hot water.

The post reads “Why isn’t (Winnie) the bear going out of office yet?” and makes reference to Winnie the Pooh, which Xi has been compared to in the past. The Chinese leader isn’t fond of these comparisons, which has been cause for 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 who provided more context.

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“A guy who works in Diablo Immortal’s marketing team (which have access to the official social media account) did something very sensitive,” they explained. “Now, we don’t know did he forgot to switch the account or he use DI’s official account intentionally – but the result is, he used DI official account to post a thread which complains ‘When would THE BEAR(implying 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.

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“That’s why DI marketing was completely shut down in China, and Netease itself was heavily affected too,” they continued. “Rumor says Netease will not get any license for game publish in the following three whole years, but we don’t know whether it’s true or not.”

If NetEase is unable to publish games for the next three years, it could affect every Blizzard game, not just Diablo Immortal.

“If that’s true, it will also affect Diablo4, Overwatch 2 and WoW Dragonflight, and might even force Blizzard to change their cooperator in China mainland,” the Chinese fan continued.

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Immortal’s release being 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 the game has been outright banned in China, but now that this Weibo post has come to light, the “surprise” delay isn’t that much of a surprise any more.

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About The Author

Bill is a former writer at Dexerto based in Iowa, who covered esports, gaming and online entertainment for more than two years. With the US team, Bill covered Overwatch, CSGO, Influencer culture, and everything in between.