During BlizzCon 2018, Diablo developer and publisher, Blizzard Entertainment, revealed the latest entry into the famed hack-and-slash franchise. Now, the company is feeling the heat from their fans, their shareholders and critics alike. But they aren’t wrong, it was a bad idea and here’s why.
Since the release of Blizzard Entertainment’s debut into the hack-‘n’-slash RPG genre, I’ve been a fan. I stayed up countless hours hunting down the Lord of Darkness and his minions that threatened to doom all of Tristram. My dad, my gaming buddy, my beat ’em up bruiser, took me out of his way to Toys R Us when Blizzard Entertainment, Blizzard North, Sierra Entertainment, and Synergistic Software released the Diablo: Hellfire Expansion.
Years later, he would even take me to the midnight release for Diablo II followed by hundreds of countless hours grinding out Andariel, Mephisto, and Diablo for their respective drops. Years later, we would even find ourselves once again picking up the expansion for both of us to play. Again, our loot runs would get underway as our journey to gearing out our Druid and Assassin and gearing out their rune word gear came to a fresh new start.
We’d continue this tradition through the course of Diablo III and its various launches, even snagging a copy on Nintendo Switch to go side-by-side with our PlayStation 4 and PC copies of the game. But now, here we are, years later with the hopes of Diablo IV or another Diablo III expansion, something that it seemed Blizzard was gearing up for alongside the reveal of their Netflix series for the franchise.
Like many fans, my jaw had hit the floor in absolute shock. The first thing that ran through my head was, “what kind of f***ery is this?! Where is the Diablo IV teaser or even a new DLC or expansion announcement for Diablo III. Where is Diablo II HD Remaster? Why the Hell did a mobile game take the spotlight? Why is it a mobile game by Netease none-the-less? What in the Seven Lords of Hell is going on here?!”
No, Diablo Immortal should not have been the only Diablo keynote project
Now, before I continue, I do think we’ve all overreacted a bit about Diablo going mobile in any way shape or form. We all can agree, Hearthstone is great, The Elder Scrolls: Legends is great, Hell, even Dungeon Hunter and Vainglory are great examples of spectacular mobile titles. I love them and I’ll be the first to admit that I will be giving Diablo Immortal a chance when it launches in 2019, but let me clarify something before you turn red in the neck and cheeks.
Diablo Immortal should not have been the centerpiece for Wyatt Cheng and his team. There should have at least been one other project discussed.
Now that – that is out of the way, let me clarify a few things. First off, us gamers have been acting like a giant group of babies. I’m talking four-year-olds having a meltdown in a toy store over not getting that super-rare toy that we always dreamed of having and walking out empty handed kind of babies. We’ve thrown an unreasonable temper tantrum over Diablo Immortal.
Sure, it needed to happen. I was fully expecting an announcement like this to be made since the mobile market is worth an estimated $115 billion USD this year alone according to a report from Statista. They’re already estimating over the 120 billion mark in value next year alone; so it’s no surprise to see Blizzard wanting to jump in on the money train while it’s going.
To be honest, it should have been more than just Diablo Immortal in the showcase that w saw. Many of us fans were preparing for something big with the purchases or attempts to win a Virtual Ticket in some way or another. Blizzard has even acknowledged that Diablo IV is in the works, but wouldn’t be at BlizzCon 2018.
But what about those various other projects such as the Netflix show or even a movie or new content drops for Diablo III? That would have helped calm the crowd and opened up more avenues for discussion. Fans like myself would have been happy rather than – in ways – misplacing our anger towards the team. To be blunt, you shot the messenger dead in the spot. Wyatt Cheng didn’t deserve what he got while he was showing off Diablo Immortal or even answering questions during the Q&A afterward.
““Good things come to those who wait,” but evil things often take longer”
Look, we shot the messenger. To be honest, we as a community owe Blizzard an apology. We aren’t entitled to Diablo IV or them developing our dream dungeon-diving experience. Hell, Blizzard isn’t even out of touch with gamers. They’re giving us what we ask for with every hero launch in Overwatch and they even listen to our critical feedback in regards to World of Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm. They even went as far as to fix all of our problems with Diablo III with the release of Diablo II: Reaper of Souls.
In reality, we should be happy with the fact we do have information about the various new Diablo projects in the works. But again, why didn’t they at least tease us with the logo and some information about those very projects? Your guess is good as mine. But again, the community, us, the gamers – we need to cool our jets as my father would say.
We blew everything out of proportion. Even as a “real fan” of the franchise, I love Diablo. I still play Diablo II on US West to this very day. I still play Diablo III on the daily (when time provides). So why should I care about one single title? Why should I get my pitchfork and go down the road after the guy who probably isn’t even in charge of production and development or even being the guy that pitched the game? There’s absolutely no reason for me to dos o.
We got riled up over nothing. We got riled up over something that won’t affect us in any way. Sure, we want the story. Sure, we want the lore, but why not offer them a creative avenue to wander down and provide us with those same experiences without the witch hunt itself? Now, we have a guy who probably hates his job and probably sees our community – the Diablo community – as a winey entitled bunch of brats.
It’s to the point that even YouTubers, Twitch streamers and various content creators such as World of Warcraft content creator, Bajheera (as seen above), got a major set of dislikes just for showing off gameplay footage of Diablo Immortal. This isn’t necessary. If you don’t like the game, great. There is a dislike option for that, but don’t dislike the content just because it isn’t something that’s not for you.
Let’s be honest guys and girls and fellow gamers alike – we are acting like a bunch of entitled little brats. We need to stop.
I’m like you. I hate microtransactions, I hate pay-to-win features and I absolutely hate loot boxes altogether.
While I’m scared about the direction Diablo Immortal will take due to Netease and their reliance on microtransactions, I do hope that Blizzard knows we are getting tired of them, that we don’t want that kind of game. We want a DIABLO experience more than anything.
But guys, gals, and gamers alike. Let’s work on our toxicity and our negativity. Let’s go back to offering constructive criticism, opening doorways of discussion with the developers we know and love. Let’s quit going after them with feathers and tar before igniting them with a torch.
Let’s become a better and more reasonable community than what we have already become.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.