Yesterday at BlizzCon 2018, Blizzard announced Diablo Immortal, a new mobile game in the popular franchise, and fans have some strong opinions about it. As of the time that I am writing this, the announcement trailer is sitting at almost 1,370,000 views and has garnered 293,000 dislikes. The Diablo series subreddit has been hammering the recent unveil as “out of touch” and “a slap in the face.” I think it is safe to say that fans are unhappy.
In a recent interview with Polygon, Allen Adham, executive producer and Blizzard co-founder, and Dan Eggren, production director, discussed the response many had to the announcement of Diablo: Immortal and more. They made it quite clear that the new mobile game is only one of many Diablo titles that are currently in development.
“We have said that we have multiple Diablo teams working on multiple Diablo projects and that remains true, even after releasing [Diablo 3 for Nintendo] Switch and announcing Diablo: Immortal,” Adham said. “We still have multiple Diablo teams working on multiple unannounced Diablo projects. Diablo is a tentpole franchise for us. And it always will be. We love it. We hope our fans understand what we’re saying when we say that.”
He also said that the new mobile title was a way to bring the classic experience of Diable to hundreds of millions of people who use their mobile devices to play games every day. Even those who have switched from console and PC.
“The world is evolving both geographically and demographically,” he said. “Younger folks now, many of them, mobile is their primary gaming device. And then around the world in many regions, it’s their primary gaming device, and so it’s always been our aspiration [to bring games to them].”
The backlash from the announcement can be boiled down to fans excitement and desire for a sequel to 2012’s Diablo 3. However, Adham did believe that once fans actually get their hands on it, many will have a change of heart.
“We definitely feel that playing is believing, and we definitely value our fans. We feel that they’re passionate about the franchise … and they put their heart into it just as we put our heart into it. And we hope that as they get opportunities to see people play, see more of the gameplay, they’ll see that passion that’s in this game… What we see is anybody who actually holds it and plays it feels great about it.”
Despite issuing an official statement on the Diablo blog telling players to temper their expectations, fans were left angered and upset. However, I don’t think Blizzard will be shaking in their boots just yet. The official reveal trailer of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare currently has almost 4 million dislikes and it is still one of the top five best selling games in the U.S. on both the PS4 and Xbox One, so I think they will be just fine.