When famed game company Blizzard announced there was going to be a big announcement, gamers were clamoring for what it could be. All signs pointed to one possibility above all – a new installment of the iconic Diablo series.
It’s not all Blizzard is known for – but it is as famous as any series they’ve ever produced. Even to this day, the first two installments of Diablo are some of the most faithfully carried physical PC games at mainstream retailers. And the latest installment, Diablo 3, still enjoys regular updates and a somewhat large base of players.
While the games have made their way to consoles across various hardware generations, there is a familiar sentiment that the game series is made for PC – meaning the PC master race, as it is called, has a vested interest in seeing the new title.
The stage was set for the big announcement. Blizzard management indeed announced a new entry into the franchise. It was a moment of celebration, but it would be short-lived. They announced the new title would be dubbed “Diablo Immortals.” Sounds great. Then they announced the platform – mobile.
And that’s it.
Wait, really? The iconic franchise known for gorgeous graphics that take advantage of the high-end GPUs of PCs is turning out a phone game? That’s the big announcement? And according to those in attendance, there are no plans on bringing Immortals anywhere beyond the mobile platform. What was seen as a major announcement turned into a major letdown.
Many believed the announcement was to be for Diablo 4 – and while Blizzard managers have noted they have multiple projects in the works, they said they will only talk about them when the time is right. That time can’t come soon enough because for now, the company is catching a ton of flack from their core fanbase.
The trailer is boasting an impressively bad like/dislike ratio, they were asked outright whether the announcement was a joke, and even their stocks have taken a hit after the backlash. It’s a tough time to be Blizzard, and one has to wonder if they should’ve rethought their plan to bring Diablo to mobile and act like it was this groundbreaking deal.
Of course, modern mobile games are marred by a growing reliance on microtransactions. The fear for many is that Diablo will go from an immersive PC experience to a way for Blizzard to syphon cash from casual gamers who can’t keep the phone out of their hand. Even if Diablo 4 does come out in the near future, it may take Blizzard a while to bounce back from this controversy.
This wasn’t the first time the company has caught flack for a big announcement. Back when Diablo 3 first came out, there was controversy about the requirement of an internet connection to play. But even that can’t top seeing the battle between the Nephilim and the Lord of Hell relegated to your Android device, with a gear upgrade available courtesy of your PayPal account.