As you know, BlizzCon took place during the weekend, a convention many can’t wait for since then the world finds out what one of the biggest game developers Blizzard is cooking in the oven. While they already cooled off fans who expected Diablo IV a while ago, there were still some great things to hope for as well. However, the big surprise to many there and in front of the live stream of the convention was an announcement of Diablo Immortal, a new mobile game taking place between Diablo II and III.
However, the fan backlash may not be what they expected. Many fans saw this announcement as the slap in the face and called it that all over the social media. The anger was not only because of Diablo Immortal but for not seeing that multiple Diablo projects Blizzard has been announcing for a while. Since Diablo IV was out of the picture, the very least fans expected was Diablo’s remastering.
But they didn’t get more than one Diablo project and that caused discomfort and expression of disappointment on the social media. The biggest reason for this is, however, is not the lack of Diablo projects but Blizzard not fulfilling their promise given in the hype that predated the BlizzCon. Mobile games for many are still not the media to be taken seriously and Diablo Immortal, developed specifically for iOS and Android devices, is certainly enough cause to express frustration for not getting a Diablo sequel or a big game for consoles and PC. And let’s not forget that attendees pay to be at BlizzCon so in a way their disappointment comes from “not getting what they came for” fact as well.
Game’s cinematic trailer received over 200,000 dislikes which are a lot when you compare it to only 7,000 likes. Some devoted fans who played Blizzard’s games for more than two decades expressed their dissatisfaction by leaving messages saying they won’t be playing their titles in the future. And some even claim that those messages were deleted a couple of times before finally left alone, as well.
On Diablo subreddit, users call the game “a slap in the face” and “worse than nothing” but also accuse the Blizzard of spitting in the face of the gaming community. Other posts described an uncomfortable silence after the Diablo Immortal trailer’s reveal. There is even a clip of a fan asking if the announcement was some kind of early April Fools’ joke, and it’s very popular actually and circling the web.
Regarding Diablo Immortal, Blizzard said this is a reskin of Crusaders of Light, a game made by NetEase a studio with whom Blizzard will be working on this Diablo title. Diablo principal designer Wyatt Cheng who announced Diablo Immortal on the stage at BlizzCon said that mobile is not a dirty word.
“When it came to looking at making a new Diablo game, and this opportunity to partner with NetEase to make this—the technology is there, where our mobile phones are more powerful than ever, and they’re capable of top-tier gaming experiences,” said Cheng.
With Diablo III Remastered and out on Nintendo Switch and now Diablo Immortal coming to iOS and Android mobile devices, the fans are getting restless. They’ve been waiting and hoping for Diablo IV since 2014, although expansion packs for the third installment were released in the meanwhile. Blizzard doesn’t seem overly flustered with the fan outrage, so maybe they have some other news to announce that simply weren’t 100% for the BlizzCon. Or maybe, the company is doing expansion of their business which is something that was bound to happen with the mobile gaming market turning into a lucrative ground. If that is the case, the company is not disrespecting their fans but gathering new ones and finding means to survive in the competitive environment so they could make Diablo IV at all.