This past Friday during the BlizzCon 2018 opening ceremonies, the company announced Diablo Immortal, a new mobile take on the classic hack ‘n’ slash franchise. Reaction has been strikingly bad, with fans raging online and even directly confronting the game’s developers at BlizzCon. Even a former Diablo producer has questioned the way Blizzard revealed the game.
Well, according to Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, Blizzard originally intended to reveal something much more fan-pleasing during the BlizzCon opening ceremonies. Until the “last minute,” the plan was to follow the reveal of Diablo Immortal with the announcement that Diablo 4 was in development, but not ready to show yet. In other words, something similar to Bethesda’s Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6 E3 announcements.
So, why did Blizzard pull the Diablo 4 announcement? They had to have known it would've done a lot to smooth over the news that Diablo is going mobile. Per Kotaku, Diablo 4 has been in the works for around four years, and development hasn’t been smooth, with the game undergoing a series of significant changes and at least two different directors. Word is, the Diablo 4 team just wasn’t confident about announcing the game, as it could still change significantly before release.
In other words, Blizzard decided to take the heat now, rather than down the line, should Diablo 4 be significantly delayed or transform into a completely different beast. Was it the right decision? It’s difficult to say – I have a felling Blizzard might be second-guessing themselves given the extreme negative reaction to Diablo Immortal.
Blizzard has hinted they have “multiple” Diablo media projects in the works. In addition to Diablo Immortal and Diablo 4, there is strong evidence a Diablo Netflix animated series is on the way.
Diablo III is available now on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. Diablo Immortal is “coming soon” to iOS and Android devices.