NetEase is receiving stern feedback from fans of Harry Potter: Magic Awakened for the Lunar New Year campaign which has led the developers to issue an apology to its gamer community. The Chinese developer is known for mobile games like Fantasy Westward Journey, Cyber Hunter, and Identity V. The apology was posted on social media platform Weibo where China’s second-biggest gaming company apologized for bringing “bad experiences” to players of Harry Potter: Magic Awakened, a mobile game it launched last September.
What went wrong with the Harry Potter: Magic Awakened Lunar New Year campaign
The Lunar New Year campaign for the game was originally scheduled to start next Wednesday, but NetEase will be canceling a part of it after receiving complaints. The main allegation from the gamers is that the campaign was following a model of predatory microtransaction where players will be easily tricked into buying in-game items.
The criticism was targeted towards NetEase’s campaign for Harry Potter: Magic Awakened where gamers called it unfair. An online petition calling for the resignation of the game’s designer was started on social media platform Weibo which received 380 million views.
Each month the game gets two new outfits where “one is directly sold to users at a price of around 68 yuan ($10.70), with the other obtained through a paid lottery function.” However in the New Year campaign both these outfits were placed in the lottery function.
Many gamers were agitated because it took too long to gain access to the lottery after completing tasks in the game. After receiving backlash from the gamers NetEase now says it will distribute free gaming equipment and outfits to players of the game.
The government has withheld the release of many games since July 2021 and restricted the time that minors can spend on gaming. This is the reason why many developers are trying to extract more and more money from their existing titles because of the Chinese government’s crackdown on the gaming industry. The authorities should realize that the country’s gaming industry is suffering a huge setback due to these restrictions.