The Chinese National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) approved the publication of Diablo Immortal. This will certainly speed up testing and launch of the game in China.
Thanks, RedOctober & MrMesli
This is great news for Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase. Activision had to wait a year for the NPPA approval to publish Call of Duty: Mobile in China after its global launch.
Diablo Immortal got this approval far long earlier. We still don't have a release date for Diablo Immortal.
Based on what was said during the Activision Blizzard Q4 2020 investors call held a few days ago on February 4, we now know that they plan to launch Diablo Immortal in 2021, and multiple rounds of testing are expected.
That same process of multiple rounds of testing took about 6 months for Call of Duty: Mobile. If Blizzard and NetEase follow that pattern, we might be looking at an early Fall 2021, or earlier. We'll see.
Keep your eyes open for BlizzConline for more details on the next external regional test.
In the meantime, here is a view at the Call of Duty: Mobile testing calendar that I put together from data. Don't look too much into the dates because there was a 5 month gap between Alpha and Beta due to Activision partnering with Tencent shortly after Alpha. Tencent migrated the game to the Unity game engine. Diablo Immortal doesn't have to wait 5 months between Technical Alpha and Beta. Instead, focus on which countries the regional test took place in, and how often each of these multiple rounds of test started in between each other.
Here you can see four Beta tests and two soft launches before the game went live.
[table id=86 /]