The major announcement this year at Blizzcon was Diablo Immortal; a mobile platform MMORPG set between the events of Diablo 2 and 3. But what is a Blizzard announcement without a mass of controversy and outcry?
With many shocked that a ‘phone game’ is the headlining announcement for Blizzcon 2018, it seems that Blizzard has had a series of unfortunate events getting them to this point. First of all the announcement was poorly handled, with what seems like a lack of understanding about who their audience is.
A room full of predominantly PC gamers, with a growing console audience, aren’t particularly interested in a mobile game. If anything they are more likely to get a Nintendo Switch and play Diablo 3 on it, so a mobile game has missed their expectation of what makes a ‘major announcement’.
But I don’t think a mobile game was always the planned announcement, with another change in leadership in the Diablo development team, as well as a huge amount of job postings for the Diablo team on the Blizzard website. Something major is happening at Blizzard right now as the Diablo team enters a new phase.
With lots of fresh blood (and meat hehe) as well as new leadership, it’s clear that whatever has gone down has delayed the ‘various other diablo projects’ that Blizzard is working on. The Diablo Immortal website was only registered on October 4, that’s cutting it a smidge fine for a project that is your annual event headliner.
It seems to me, that if Blizzard has gone through a series of rapid changes and challenges that would delay the ‘real announcement’ then fans would understand. If they took the stage and said told fans something big was in the works and Diablo Immortal was meant to tide fans over, it wouldn’t have been as bad.
But Blizzard instead chose to challenge the audience, and in a moment of frustration Wyatt Cheng made the now infamous “Do you guys not have phones?” comment that sparked outrage across all of the internet.
So what can Blizzard do to salvage this announcement?
Well, I’m not really sure. It seems that the frustration is just gathering momentum across Reddit and other forums. It also seems that the damage is done and Wall Street agrees with a 7% drop in Activision Blizzard shares the following Monday.
But with all that grumbling aside, let’s have a look at the actual announcement and features of the latest instalment in the Diablo franchise, the mobile platform Immortal.
Exclusive to Android, iPhone and iPad, players will explore lands new and old using the same familiar classes that have been remastered for the mobile platform.
Diablo has a rich history over more than three decades. New enemies arise, with a new enemy in Skarn the Herald of Terror, Diablo’s favoured and most powerful lieutenant. As well as a new Lord of Terror comes a host of reimagined monsters, old classics remastered and new horrors made real.
You can pre-register for Diablo Immortal here. Currently, there is no set release date.