I honestly didn’t even think that it was humanly possible to top EA’s E3 2018 announcement of “Command and Conquer: Rivals” (or Valve’s “Artifact” announcement for that matter), sadly enough I was wrong.
You see, during the Blizzcon 2018 event Blizzard announced a brand-new “Diablo” game called “Diablo Immortal” (Blizzard announced the game on the 2nd of November). Well, long story short. The “Diablo” fans did not like what they saw from the gameplay and announcement trailer of “Diablo Immortal” (there is no release date for “Diablo Immortal” just yet).
“And why is that?” So you might wonder. Well, right off the bat. “Diablo Immortal” is a mobile game for iOS and Android, and the game is being developed by NetEase (the Chinese game company behind “Crusaders of Light”). In other words, one red flag after another went up for the Diablo fans…And keep in mind, Blizzard announced all of this during Blizzcon 2018.
So the timing and occasion sure couldn’t have been worse even if Blizzard had tried their very best. Truth be told, I think DoYouEvenPraise (a Giantbomb user) hit the bullseye with his comment about the “Diablo Immortal” announcement at Blizzcon 2018:
“So they announced a mobile game to a crowd of fans dedicated enough to attend their event when that crowd has been waiting like 6 years for a proper sequel. Smart move.
They probably should have done what bethesda did with TES and announced their mobile spinoff while teasing the true direct sequel. That way people get a sense of security that their long-awaited sequel is in the works and the mobile game is a side to accompany their announcement main course.” – DoYouEvenPraise via Giantbomb
So as you might imagine. The Diablo fans sure didn’t hold back on their thoughts when they saw the videos for “Diablo Immortal” (just take a look at the pictures above). As a matter of fact, a Diablo fan even asked Blizzard on-site at Blizzcon 2018 if “Diablo Immortal is an out of season April Fool’s joke”. Well, “Diablo Immortal” is no joke. No, it’s very much a real production.
“For people wondering why Activision Blizzard would do this here is why. Activision Blizzard bought King Digital Entertainment in 2016 acquiring Candy Crush Saga & Candy Crush Soda Saga (both cell phone games). & guess what Activision Blizzard’s top two grossing games are? Thats right Candy Crush Saga & Candy Crush Soda Saga & why or how are they beating WoW & Overwatch on making money? Because of micro transactions pure & simple.
So it comes to no surprise that Activision Blizzard would see that & decided to take a huge widely beloved game franchise like Diablo & try to turn it into a pay to win mobile game micro transaction cash cow. Money talks & they are only hearing cha ching.” – Josh Lane via Youtube
That’s also why I wasn’t surprised to see that Diablo Immortal’s cinematic Youtube trailer is pushing towards 400K dislikes, all while the gameplay trailer is heading towards 150K dislikes on Youtube.
Furthermore, there’s even a cancel “Diablo Immortal” petition now, and it’s getting closer and closer to 30,000 signatures as we speak. So it’s pretty darn obvious to me that Blizzard has pissed off the Diablo fanbase (including myself).
“Blizzard does not care about the community anymore. This is an outrage and a spit in the face of the Diablo community. Sign this petition to show them how disappointed we are!”
“Today: People For the True Spirit of Blizzard is counting on you. People For the True Spirit of Blizzard needs your help with “Supporters of the Diablo franchise and the spirit of what Blizzard used to stand for.: Cancel Diablo Immortal”. Join People For the True Spirit of Blizzard and 24,714 supporters today.” – People For the True Spirit of Blizzard via the cancel “Diablo Immortal” petition
That’s just the half of it though, because the anger and disappointment over Blizzard’s announcement of “Diablo Immortal” is spreading to pretty much every single Gaming forum there is in the whole world, including Blizzard’s own battle.net forum:
It’s full of lies and poorly done damage control. I’ll just respond to some of the stupid things said in it.
#1 – If you have multiple projects in the works as you say, why the hell wouldn’t you announce them at Blizzcon? Even a “we have nothing to show you yet but we’re working on [Project]” would’ve sufficed. This is the Diablo community. We’re patient and we’re used to getting nothing for years, so any kind of announcement would’ve made myself and I’m sure plenty of others happy.
#2 – He then goes on to say that they’re hoping once people get their hands on it, they’ll probably enjoy it. He also says that people who have played it so far have enjoyed it. Who? The only person I’ve seen giving any sort of thumbs up is Kripp in his latest video. Everyone on Reddit, including Red Shirt Hero who got to test it out didn’t care for it and actually did play it.
I have never once had an interest in downloading an entire full-fledged game to my mobile device. Do you when we play mobile games? When we’re pooping. Seriously. That’s when we load up Angry Birds, Candy Crush or whatever’s popular on the phone today.
Stop pretending that you’re doing this to “connect mobile gamers” and give people an opportunity to play a Blizzard game on mobile.
#3 – Give poor Wyatt a raise and never do that to him again. I’ve never seen someone look so uncomfortable and so distressed on stage at Blizzcon. He obviously didn’t want to go out there and he had no clue how to handle the situation. He improved so many things about this game, only to be torn apart at Blizzcon 18 because of executive greed.
The part I can’t get over is that it’s not even being developed by Blizzard. It’s being outsourced to an Asian mobile game studio named NetEase.
Again, if you guys are working on MULTIPLE projects as you say, why the hell wouldn’t you at least talk about them? We don’t even want details at this point, we just want confirmation that something is in the works. You could’ve just flashed a Diablo 4 logo, a D2 remaster logo, a new character concept or hell, at this point, even a new patch in the works. I think you guys underestimate how little our expectations are for this franchise.
You shouldn’t have had a panel at all this year.” – Ironskull via the battle.net forum
As bad as that sound though, the “Diablo Immortal” PR-circus didn’t end there for Blizzard. Because it didn’t take long before sites like Polygon, Forbes and IGN started to defend Blizzard and “Diablo Immortal”. Well, that just made matters even worse for Blizzard, as it made the Diablo fans even more upset (and rightfully so)…
That’s also why I can’t help to feel as if Blizzard has lost the contact with their Diablo fanbase completely, because “Diablo Immortal” is a game that no Diablo fan ever asked for. Hell, the fans wanted “Diablo 4”, and Blizzard instead announced a new “Diablo” game for mobile? What exactly did they expect would happen? That the Diablo fans would be super happy and excited for “Diablo Immortal”?
Sure, I/we don’t know for a fact that “Diablo Immortal” is going to be a bad game. Nevertheless, it doesn’t really matter, as it wasn’t the game that the Diablo fans wanted in the first place…And as a long-time Diablo fan (I’ve been with the series since the very first game). I can’t truly say that I’m all that excited for “Diablo Immortal” at all. I mean, I didn’t even get all that many thrills from “Diablo 3” when it launched.
As I thought that D3 was nothing like D1 or D2 (thus the reason why I installed and started to play “Diablo 2: Median XL” instead). Anyways, the bottom line is this. I think Blizzard is going to lose a lot of Diablo fans and tons of money due to the Blizzcon 2018 announcement of “Diablo Immortal”.
However, let’s say that “Diablo Immortal” ends up being a pretty decent game (If I were Blizzard, I would take a good look at all the feedback that they’ve been given via their forum and Youtube page, and then turn that feedback into something positive). Then maybe, just maybe we will get a “Diablo 4” later on (time will tell).
So let’s hope for the best and pray to the Gaming gods for “Diablo 4” to happen!
And with that said, what’s your take on this matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!
Blizzcon (“archive – Diablo Immortal Unveiled at BlizzCon“)
Polygon (archive – “Blizzard responds to Diablo: Immortal backlash“)
Polygon (archive – “Diablo fans call Diablo: Immortal a reskin of a free-to-play mobile game“)
Forbes (archive – “Everyone Needs To Chill Out About ‘Diablo Immortal‘”)
IGN (archive – “Blizzard Responds to Diablo Immortal “Reskin” Controversy – BlizzCon 2018“)
Kotaku (archive – “Blizzard Says It Wasn’t Expecting Fans To Be This Angry About Diablo Immortal“)
MSN.com (archive – “Diablo: Immortal coming to mobile as a ‘full-fledged’ action RPG“)
us.battle.net (“Blizzard’s Polygon Interview For Immortal Backlash”)
us.battle.net (“PETITION FOR CANCEL DIABLO IMMORTAL!”)
Giantbomb (archive – “Epic blizzcon burn“)
change.org (archive – “Cancel Diablo Immortal“)
Mister Metokur (archive – “Diablo Immortal: Damage Control Engaged“)
vypermajik (archive – “BlizzCon’s Diablo Immortal Meltdown — what is going on, and why?“)
Sean Finnegan (Twitter)
Adam Holisky (Twitter)
Diablo Immortal gameplay trailer (archive – http://archive.is/ofXvT)
Diablo Immortal cinematic trailer (archive – http://archive.is/wTjjU)
Reddit (archive – “Petition to cancel Diablo Immortal“)
Diablo Immortal Q&A
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
Sharn Daniels – Co-writer
Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
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