Blizzard: We’re Still a PC Developer First, We’ve Just Communicated It Poorly
Blizzard ran into trouble during last year's BlizzCon, as you might well recall. It happened mostly because, instead of announcing a new mainline Diablo game, the Irvine-based developer unveiled Diablo Immortal for mobile devices. That triggered a massive negative reaction from fans who felt neglected on PC, which is where the company made its considerable fortune.
Speaking with Gamespot, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack took the chance to reassure them that Blizzard's heritage will not be forgotten.
I think the thing that we did a poor job of when we announced Diablo: Immortal was contextualizing what we think the future can be and what we think of mobile in particular. And I also think the key thing that was lost, that we did a poor job double emphasizing, is we are a PC developer first. And then we look for other platforms that we think are awesome that can support the types of gameplay experiences that resonate with the type of games and values that we want to put forth into the world. And the example of that is, there was a little bit of a backlash when we [announced] that we were going to port Diablo 3 to consoles as well.
We ported it to both the Xbox and PlayStation platforms. Last year we announced Diablo for the Nintendo Switch. And the reason for that is because we think that that's a great game that can really work really well on those platforms.
If we think about what mobile was going to be for Blizzard in the future, we think that mobile doesn't have to be a lesser-quality experience. We think that we can make Blizzard-quality games. We think that we can have Blizzard values around monetization, and we think it can be a great experience. And Diablo: Immortal is a game that we've been working on for quite a few years at this point, and we're happy with how it's coming along. We're looking forward to having the players see it whenever it's ready to go.
But first and foremost, I think the thing that did not get communicated, and I can't say enough, is that we are a PC developer that also looks for opportunities on other platforms.
[...] We did not do a good job in assuaging our core fanbase that we're not abandoning PC for mobile and console. That part of the message did not get communicated in a way that I think, if we could go back, we would do.
It's not hard to understand the fan reaction of, "I'm a Blizzard fan. Blizzard, just keep making PC games like you've always done. Like I like. That will make me happy."
BlizzCon 2019, where fans are hoping to learn about a proper Diablo 4 game, takes place at the usual venue (the Anaheim Convention Center) on November 1st and 2nd. Virtual Tickets are already available for purchase.