Blizzard seemingly can’t help but stumble into PR blunder after PR nightmare these days. It’s not what you expect from one of the most esteemed PC developers in history but you know what they say - the taller you are, the harder you fall.
The current controversy swelling around Blizzard concerns the recently released Warcraft 3: Reforged. As you’ve doubtless seen, its arrival hasn’t exactly been met with open arms. Many of the promises haven’t been delivered, including reworked cutscenes and updated audio, there are network and connectivity issues, an aggressive TOS which gives Blizzard blanket control over all user-created content, and features from the original game which have been stripped out, such as clans, competitive ladders and automated tournaments.
Just to top it all off, many of the updates to the online infrastructure have been rolled out to the both WC3: Reforged and the original game, essentially replacing the original classic RTS with a now-broken version.
Following the Blitzchung/China controversy, Diablo Immortal for mobile and a tepid reveal of pseudo-sequel Overwatch 2, this piles yet more misery on the beleaguered Blizzard.
To top it all off, Warcraft 3: Reforged is now one of the lowest score games in Metacritic history based on user reviews. The Critic score sits at a bang average 63/100, which is impressively low for an upgrade of one of the most beloved games of all time. But the User Score? It smashes through the bottom of the barrel with a score of just 5/100 based on more than 16,000 user reviews. Warcraft 3: Reforged has become almost universally reviled in its user reviews, with some 15,500 negative reviews compared to just 649 positive feedback.
There's no way it's worth a measly score of 5%, of course, but it's indicative of the sentiment around Blizzard right now that it's suffered in this manner.
Just when Blizzard had an easy win on its hands, it managed to shoot itself in the foot in spectacular fashion. For a developer of Blizzard’s stature it’s become a remarkable fall from grace. There is now so much riding on Diablo 4 it’s unreal. When fans smell blood in the water it’s imperative you don’t throw them more meaty chunks yet that’s exactly what Blizzard has done.
Can you see a ray of light for Blizzard at the end of the tunnel? With Blizzard now getting the basics wrong, is your trust in the developer damaged? Let us know!