Diablo: Immortal Isn't Feeling Too Good After It's Reveal


At Blizzcon 2018, Blizzard announced Diablo Immortal, an action RPG for your mobile phones.

A Diablo game reveal was no secret months before the con, but no one expected that the next entry would be the Diablo franchise’s first entry to the mobile market. With Diablo 3 now available on the Switch, it feels like it’s all about maximizing exposure, reaching out to other markets to potentially expand their community.

But regardless, fans all over the world have expressed disdain at the new Diablo game.

An announcement presented first at the wrong crowd. Diablo’s Reddit must be imploding at this point with “creative” reactions to Diablo Immortal, and the gameplay trailer video (shown below) is amassing a lot of dislikes so far. The reaction isn’t much of a surprise as many fans were hoping for a more traditional entry to the series. Something to cling on after attending Blizzcon since Diablo 3 is already more than 6 years old. It’s an interesting decision from Blizzard - to end their opening ceremony show with their mobile game Diablo: Immortal, in an event catered to their most loyal and hardcore fans.

Diablo 2’s producer, Mark Kern, expressed his opinions through Twitter regarding the Diablo: Immortal backlash, stating that there’s nothing wrong with a mobile version of Diablo.

There is nothing wrong with having a mobile version of Diablo. In fact, I would have wanted one as an option. But the way it was hinted at, and presented, and the failure of Blizzard management to predict the backlash caught me [by] surprise. Blizzard used to be really gamer driven
— Mark Kern

Blizzard responds

After the announcement, Polygon interviewed Allen Adham, executive producer and Blizzard co-founder, and Dan Elggren, production director about the heavy backlash.

This is what Adham has to say about the reactions:

We have said that we have multiple Diablo teams working on multiple Diablo projects and that remains true, even after releasing [Diablo 3 for Nintendo] Switch and announcing Diablo: Immortal.” “We still have multiple Diablo teams working on multiple unannounced Diablo projects. Diablo is a tentpole franchise for us. And it always will be. We love it. We hope our fans understand what we’re saying when we say that.
— Allen Adham

Adham further mentioned during the interview that the player’s opinion of the game will probably change once they’ve actually played it:

We definitely feel that playing is believing, and we definitely value our fans. We feel that they’re passionate about the franchise ... and they put their heart into it just as we put our heart into it. And we hope that as they get opportunities to see people play, see more of the gameplay, they’ll see that passion that’s in this game... What we see is anybody who actually holds it and plays it feels great about it.

The way I’ve been kind of looking at the mixed comments is what those folks are really saying is they desperately, passionately want the next big thing. So I actually think that those two items are being conflated. So I don’t think that the mixed comments are necessarily anything other than when a really passionate audience that desperately wants to see what they hope to see one day ... It’s pretty clear to us that there is a huge audience around the world that is gonna love this title. So hopefully we’ll get there.
— Allen Adham

Blizzard states that Diablo: Immortal is built from the ground up and is being developed by NetEase, a Chinese company known for mobile titles. In just hours after the reveal, fans quickly pointed out the similarities to NetEase’s previous works, calling Immortal as a re-skin of NetEase’s Crusader of Light.

Diablo: Immortal is set after the events of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and will have five playable classes at launch: Crusader, Wizard, Monk, Demon Hunter, and Barbarian. Immortal is also a massively multiplayer game, placing a crazy amount of players onto your mobile screen.

There is no release date for Diablo: Immortal just yet but you can pre-register right now. And with it being an exclusive title for mobile devices, many wonder about it’s price point and if there will be any form of microtransactions.

The Diablo: Immortal reveal has put Blizzard in full defense mode. A reveal at the wrong time and at the wrong place. And another grim reminder of how disconnected Blizzard can be with their community.