Diablo Immortal is the next game in Blizzard’s action-RPG franchise. The developer announced the mobile game today at Blizzcon 2018. The gameplay trailer describes it as a “massively multiplayer” game for phones. It also looks like Diablo: Immortal will be available for both iOS and Android.
From the game’s YouTube page…
Enter the world of Diablo Immortal, a new entry in the Diablo universe. Featuring the fluid hack-and-slash action role playing game experience you know and love, this visually stunning mobile experience is a cut above the rest and puts the Eternal Conflict at your fingertips—anytime, anywhere.
Besides the obvious (demons, monsters, and a lot of loot), the game also includes six playable characters. The wizard, crusader, barbarian, demon hunter, monk, and necromancer are all visible in the trailer. That just leaves the witch doctor as the sole character not returning from Diablo 3.
There are a lot of potential reasons for that. The witch doctor was Diablo 3‘s original summoning class. The necromancer, a fan favorite from Diablo 2, fills a very similar role. Although the class wasn’t added until the newest game until later, as DLC.
It’s possible Blizzard didn’t want to double-up on characters that summon monsters to fight for them. It’s also possible the devs went with the safer option. The witch doctor is a cartoonish, arguably racist caricature of African faith healers.
Whatever the reason, it’s always possible that Blizzard could add the witch doctor—and any number of classes—down the line. The game’s homepage doesn’t actually mention how the game will be priced. Although you can pre-register for Diablo: Immortal right now. Doing so promises access to “future beta tests, exclusive in-game rewards, as well as news and updates.
The website also gives some plot details. Diablo Immortal is apparently set between the events of Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction and the original Diablo 3. As such a lot of the monsters you’ll face are pulled directly from Diablo 2. Although Skarn, “once Diablo’s most powerful lieutenant,” is also in the mix.
And since the game was announced, Blizzard has already filled the Diablo Twitter account with more details. We know that there will be nine outdoor zones at launch (that presumably means there will be a lot more indoor dungeons). You can also equip up to five skills per character at one time—which sounds a lot like the build-a-class system from Diablo 3.
Back in the real world, Diablo Immortal is part of Blizzard’s ongoing partnership with Chinese technology company NetEase. They’re also responsible for operating most of Blizzard’s franchises in mainland China. So the continued deal makes sense; mobile games are big business in China and much of the eastern world.
And Diablo is big business all by itself. It’s one of the best-selling games of all time and certainly one of the biggest on PC. Despite some controversy around launch, specifically around its since-abandoned “real money auction house,” the game sold a staggering 12 million copies in 2012 alone. It also just launched on Switch this week. Now that it’s coming to mobile? God help us all and our free time.