Blizzard has finally responded to the uproar following the announcement of Diablo Immortal at BlizzCon this weekend.
Let me preface this with a short story: Imagine a world, where someone invented a commodity, which made clean drinking water available inside your place of living, without the need of running to the source of said clean drinking water, something like a river, if you will. Then someone else came along and said it was a shit invention, this someone stating to be much happier running to the source of water like in the olden days, when you couldn’t get it in the comfort of your own home. Sometimes I think this Blizzard fan would piss into the river, just to make both ways to get water worse for all.
The Diablo franchise can’t seem to catch a true break. Diablo Immortal, a mobile exclusive entry in the series, has been announced at BlizzCon this past weekend and reactions have been mixed, even at their own convention. Lead Game Designer on the upcoming mobile title, Wyatt Cheng had to endure the bulk of a Q&A gone horribly wrong, including less than respectful questions and a response no one on a stage is hoping for.
At this point in time, glancing over threads and videos regarding this topic, the vocal majority of the Diablo community seems not too happy about the Diablo Immortal announcement, with many concerns regarding monetization mechanisms and the way the unveiling of the new title was handled in itself. Mark Kern, a former Blizzard employee, and producer on Diablo 2, chimed in on the matter, sharing the sentiment of a misguided PR strategy and Blizzard “not understanding gamers anymore”.
Allen Adham, executive producer and co-founder of Blizzard, stated that backlash was expected, as was with Diablo 3 console announcements and the revelation of Hearthstone, but not to that amount. He also made it clear that the development of Diablo Immortal and whatever comes next for the franchise are handled by seperate teams.
The fact that many details and factors about Diablo Immortal remain unknown, such as monetization models and a release date, and the independence in development capacities still doesn’t seem to come in the way of kneejerk outrage. The warning to keep expectations small beforehand didn’t help either, but I’m not an Ex-Blizzard dude with 20/20 hindsight vision, nor am I throwing a fit at every announcement from the Californian video game titan.
We’ll certainly be seeing more from the upcoming mobile exclusive in the coming months and I for one am looking forward to punishing evil on the toilet. With Diablo Immortal, that is.