NetEase, one of the largest video game companies in China - and the world - has been causing all sorts of trouble online recently, seemingly ripping off a major Nintendo IP, mocking its fans, and then getting caught up in a lie on social media all in one go.
The issues began when social media users started to notice similarities between NetEase's mobile game, Operation Windcloud Island, and Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, calling the company out online for its potential plagiarism. We haven't played the game ourselves, and therefore cannot speak of its gameplay, but these screenshots do look a little familiar. We'll let you be the judge on this one.
In response, social media representatives of NetEase took to smartphone app TapTap, posting messages that seemingly mocked Nintendo fans for not considering mobile games to be real games, before teasing that PC games are superior to Switch titles anyway. It gets worse, as the company then reportedly went on to use derogatory terms aimed at Switch fans, and then at PS4 fans, too, despite the console not even being relevant to the conversation.
It seems that someone at NetEase eventually realised that this could end badly, as the offending post was soon taken down. As if to apologise, a new post appeared noting that the team are huge Nintendo fans and were simply joking around, posting this image below in the process to demonstrate this fact. Social media users performed a reverse image search online, however, finding that the photograph had actually just been taken from another user. Sheesh!
Interestingly, NetEase's president has mentioned in the past how he would love to work with Nintendo; in light of recent events, we're not entirely convinced that this will happen.