If you have even a cursory interest in Blizzard and the Diablo series, you’ll be all too aware of the storm of controversy that blew up during BlizzCon 2018 over the weekend. Blizzard ended its opening keynote for the event with the reveal of Diablo Immortal, a new mobile Diablo game developed in conjunction with NetEase.
Suffice to say, a large section of fans were not happy. At all. They’ve made their feelings known loud and clear, downvoting YouTube trailers for Diablo Immortal and booing Blizzard at BlizzCon itself. They wanted Diablo 4, not Diablo Immortal. It’s plainly obvious Diablo IV is coming of course, and Diablo Immortal’s development is not going to impact any potential Diablo sequel whatsoever, but it was certainly an off-key way to handle a reveal at Blizzard’s biggest event of the year.
Last night a further rumour surfaced that Blizzard had, in fact, intended to show a Diablo 4 teaser trailer at the end of BlizzCon. This particular rumour came from Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, who claimed Blizzard decided to pull the trailer from the event at the last moment.
Today, Blizzard has now refuted these claims, saying Diablo 4 was never planned for BlizzCon and that no trailers were pulled.
“First off we want to mention that we definitely hear our community,” said Blizzard. “We generally don’t comment on rumors or speculation, but we can say that we didn’t pull any announcements from BlizzCon this year or have plans for other announcements. We do continue to have different teams working on multiple unannounced Diablo projects, and we look forward to announcing when the time is right.
Schreier though, insists Blizzard co-found Allen Adham had recorded a video in which he talked about a new Diablo game coming to PC. There is some confusion over whether this video was intended for BlizzCon or another event, but the suggestion is that Diablo 4 is very much real, it’s in development and has been for years, but it’s been undergoing some major changes throughout its dev cycle. Until Blizzard has nailed down what Diablo 4 is going to be exactly, we’re not going to hear about it.
For my part, I really cannot see what the fuss is about, outside of how the reveal was made. Creators should be free to create what they want, customers should be free to pay for what they want. If Diablo Immortal isn't wanted, it won't succeed. There have been plenty of beloved game franchises that have had mobile versions with no damage to the core series, including Hitman, Tomb Raider, and FIFA, and there's no reason to think Diablo Immortal will irreversibly damage the franchise. Diablo 4 will happen regardless, and Diablo Immortal will be on mobile for those who want it.
What are your thoughts on the Diablo Immortal storm that's been brewing? Was it the right game shown at the wrong place, or is it an actual blow to the Diablo franchise? And when do you think Diablo 4 will be revealed? Let us know your thoughts!