Diablo Immortal has finally received a date for launch in China after a month-long delay. And bizarrely, it appears that the reason behind the temporary ban on the game was Winnie the Pooh. Check details.
After a month-long delay, Diablo Immortal is finally going to release on Monday, July 25. However, it is still subject to any last-moment changes. While delays like these are nothing out of the routine and mostly involve licensing and registration, Diablo Immortal’s case was quite different. The game is co-developed by Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase and was supposed to be launched in June 2022 under the label of the latter. Back then, the game delayed its launch out of the blue and no communication was provided as to why the delay occurred. But now, reports have revealed that the culprit was none other than Winnie the Pooh.
According to a Bloomberg report, the latest edition of Diablo was delayed because of a social media post. The post, reportedly, referred to popular cartoon character Winnie the Pooh which was “interpreted as criticism of Chinese President Xi Jinping”. Bloomberg further reported that the official Diablo Immortal account on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo has since been suspended for “violating relevant laws and regulations”.
Winnie the Pooh delays Diablo Immortal China release
Winnie the Pooh, the fictional teddy bear, is banned in China for years. This happened after the character’s images were used to mock the Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to the USA in 2013. After that Pooh was continuously used on digital forums and social media platforms to make fun of the Chinese President, which resulted in China censoring it from everywhere. In 2018, release of the film Christopher Robin, an adaptation of A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh was banned in China, according to a report by The Guardian.
According to Bloomberg, the social media post alluded to Winnie the Pooh which was looked at as criticism of Xi Jinping and resulted in the free-to-play game witnessing a temporary ban. Although for now the game is slated to release on 25th July, further last-moment delays are possible. Earlier, a GamesRadar report revealed that the delay of the launch of Diablo Immortal was costing Blizzard Entertainment $1 million every day.