Harry Potter: Magic Awakened players in China have made a petition for the game’s designer to resign, which reached 380 million views. It happened after complaints about NetEase tricking users into excessive spending during the latest in-game event.
The Chinese publisher faced criticism during a Lunar New Year campaign, South China Morning Post reported on January 22.
Players called the event’s terms unfair as they could obtain new outfits in Harry Potter: Magic Awakened only through a paid lottery (instead of being able to get one item for a set price as usual).
This decision led to users saying that completing in-game tasks to gain access to this lottery took too long. “I don’t want to keep working on the game even after I’m off duty,” one player noted.
After the petition for the designer’s resignation started to generate buzz online, NetEase apologized for causing “bad experiences.” The company promised to cancel a part of the Lunar New Year event and give players free outfits.
It is not the first NetEase has had to make public apologies over Harry Potter: Magic Awakened. In November 2021, players complained about the oversexualized facial expressions of female characters, citing their resemblance to anime pornography. The company then promised to change the situation.