Blizzard fans had high hopes for the Diablo franchise going into BlizzCon this year. Though it seems as if the team was trying to prepare hardcore fans for a somewhat lackluster conference, there was still a huge backlash when the company announced Diablo Immortal, a mobile MMO action RPG. Fans desperately wanted confirmation of development on Diablo 4. When that didn’t come there was a wave of anti-Blizzard rhetoric across social media.
Update: Blizzard denies that the video was ever in the BlizzCon schedule and reiterates that there are multiple Diablo projects in the works. The company issued the following statement to Kotaku.
“First off we want to mention that we definitely hear our community. We generally don’t comment on rumors or speculation, but we can say that we didn’t pull any announcements from BlizzCon this year or have plans for other announcements. We do continue to have different teams working on multiple unannounced Diablo projects, and we look forward to announcing when the time is right.”
Today, Kotaku reports that the original plan was for co-founder Allen Adham to confirm development of Diablo 4 in a video that would close out this year’s opening ceremony. There was no gameplay. It was simply a way to let the most hardcore fans know that something was coming down the pipeline.
The site’s sources say things changed in the last few weeks with many afraid that the title’s direction could “change drastically” once again. It has apparently done so at least two times in the last four years.
All-in-all fans will likely be pleased since it pretty much confirms that Diablo 4 is being made. Personally this doesn’t come as news since the developer post made before the convention all but stated Diablo 4 is coming.
This probably won’t change people’s opinions about Diablo Immortal. There will still be talk about how it’s a waste of resources and catering to an audience that doesn’t exist. I stand by my opinion that hardcore, and even casual fans of the franchise aren’t in the game’s target audience and we should just learn to accept that.
We don’t yet know when Diablo 4 will actually be announced, but Blizzard is apparently preparing a statement.