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We’re fast approaching the one-year anniversary of that fateful day which Diablo Immortal was revealed to the world. “Do you guys not have phones?” are some famous words which will go down in gaming history, even if the reaction was hilariously overblown. Toxic fandom really did take on a wild new meaning that day; anyone would think Blizzard had just announced it was going to murder the audience’s cats rather than revealing a simple mobile Diablo spin-off.
11 months later though, and the dust has largely blown over. Diablo 4 is going to happen, Diablo Immortal is still on its way, and no one really stands to lose out at all.
In the run-up to BlizzCon on November 1st though, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack has felt moved to come out and reassure the fans that Blizzard is still a PC games developer first and foremost.
“I think the thing that we did a poor job of when we announced Diablo: Immortal was contextualizing what we think the future can be and what we think of mobile in particular,” said Brack during a chat with Gamespot.
“I also think the key thing that was lost, that we did a poor job double emphasizing, is we are a PC developer first. And then we look for other platforms that we think are awesome that can support the types of game play experiences that resonate with the type of games and values that we want to put forth into the world. And the example of that is, there was a little bit of a backlash when we announced we were going to port Diablo 3 to console as well.”
Diablo Immortal isn’t actually even being developed by Blizzard, which probably sets a few alarm bells ringing. Chinese giant NetEase is handling the mobile spin-off while Blizzard’s full resources are dedicated to its in-house projects, which most likely includes Diablo 4. Brack has tried to allay a few of the fears by saying Blizzard is aware of a ton of mobile games which “we feel like are predatory when it comes to monetisation”.
It sounds as if Blizzard does have its finger on the pulse here, lending hope to Diablo Immortal being a better game that many have given it credit for. That is a faint hope though, with Activision-Blizzard not exactly on top of the pile of publishers you’d trust with monetising a mobile game. He’s probably fighting an uphill battle here as the folks angry about Diablo Immortal being a mobile game are angry despite knowing literally nothing more than the fact it’s exactly that, a mobile game.
Expect to hear plenty more on Diablo Immortal, the future of the Diablo franchise, and just about everything Blizzard-related, when BlizzCon runs from November 1-3 in Anaheim, California.