Diablo Immortal: Blizzard has Descended Into Depths of Hell
Diablo Immortal – Blizzard has Truly Descended Into Hell
After many years, much hype and anticipation of seeing whats next for the Diablo fans Blizzard has decided to get off their high-horse and spit at everyone’s face in the Diablo community. Where do I even begin and what do I have to say? Now, I know what you’re thinking, another doom and gloom negativity opinion on the Diablo Immortal drama that has been occurring ever since it’s initial announcement back on Friday November 2nd.
For the most part yes, I do have a lot of negative things to say but at the same time I will do my best to
look at this in a more positive way and try to find the bright side of this realization near the end of this conversation. With that being said, let’s talk about what the actual main issue that I have personally with Blizzard and how this whole thing should of went differently, but first I will discuss what was going through my head and everyone elses in the Diablo community prior to the announcement of Diablo Immortal.
Going into this Blizzcon I did not really have much expectation for a Diablo game since it was quite clear that we were not going get Diablo 4 and Blizzard already started doing damage control a few weeks back when the hype started to get on insane levels within the Diablo community and reddit.
While I did have my personal prediction that it was going to be a smaller game, a spin off or a side project I also knew for a fact that there was going to be absolutely nothing for Diablo 3 simply because Blizzard put Diablo III on maintenance mode for a while now and it was obvious that the Necromancer pack was the last hurrah for Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls.
I did have a small glimmer of hope in me that we might have gotten a reveal for Diablo 2 Remaster or possibly even remake, however what we got in return was Warcraft III Reforged which honestly was probably the best surprise and announcement from Blizzard in the recent years due to me being a huge fan of the Warcraft series, so I was kind of happy on the old-school side of things. Although, a Diablo 2 remake/remaster would have been magical as well for the obvious reasons.
We were told multiple times over and over again not to expect a lot and that there are multiple Diablo projects being worked on by multiple teams. The question just simply was, what kind of type of Diablo games are they actually working on? One of them has to be obviously Diablo 4 and what can the other two be?
Could one of the Diablo games be a Battle Royale game as silly or as ridiculous this sound, I mean honestly falling from the high havens as an angel or Nephalem into hell and finding the closest treasure chest to get low quality loot and start slaying the demonic denizens of hell in the world of Sanctuary to get more loot and start hunting for enemy players actually sounds a lot more appealing to me than some shoddy and shallow mobile game that is being developed and out-sourced to an Asian mobile company.
Or could one of the games also be some sort of an experimental co-op third person story driven RPG or hell even a single-player driven RPG/Action game like the recently released God of War with visceral combat and plenty of gore but with core Diablo elements?
Anyways, my point is that Diablo is a fantastical IP with a lot of good potential thanks to its awesome universe, lore, class fantasies and most immortally the star of the show himself – Diablo and his minions.
So what does Blizzard does? They wait until the last second of the opening ceremony to reveal a mobile project as the biggest announcement of the year for arguably one of their most anticipated and hyped up franchises that fans have been waiting for a very long time. If I am to be quite frank here, I don’t really have an issue with a mobile Diablo game because it could potentially work and be a fun side game when you’re traveling or just want to have a quick dungeon session with your friends. I get the casual appeal and yes it could work very well.
But the issue is that this game is not 100% being developed by Blizzard and instead outsourced to an Asian company called Netease that is known to have crappy pay-to-win microtransaction models. If this game was truly developed by Blizzard in-house development team then I would actually be a lot more hyped because I know Blizzard has a standard for the quality of games that they make.
However, this is the first time in my life where I am willing to say that that this is simply not the case anymore. You do not just outright outsource one of your biggest most anticipated IPs to a foreign developer whether its a mobile, a small tiny side project or whatever else, this is just not the Blizzard way of doing this and this is a huge red flag for me that there is something going on behind the scenes that we’re not aware off and that Activision’s influence is starting to show.
Real quick here to add more to my point, Starcraft Ghost was shaping up to be an amazing and awesome game set in the Starcraft universe and as we all know it got canned the reason Blizzard canned it was because they said that it just simply did not mean their standards. The Blizzard we knew back then is not the same company or people that we know off today.
Another reason why this was a huge disappointment and a slap in the face to the fans of Diablo is because this game was announced at their biggest and most important event which happens to be Blizzcon. People who attend Blizzcon, take off work or school and pay a good chunk of money for hotel, food and travel too see what games you have to announce are 100% not interested in seeing a mobile reveal.
If you want to reveal a mobile game that’s totally fine but don’t be stupid and do it at your biggest show of the year and use it as bait to sell your overpriced virtual tickets. That’s just a messed up bait and switch tactic that makes you look super greedy and sleazy, sort of like a used car salesman.
I mean lets be honest Blizzard is an indie company and they barely make any money and most of their games are low budget, especially Overwatch and World of Warcraft, of course they need to sell those virtual tickets, how will they ever support their servers for World of Warcraft? It’s not like the game is over a decade old or anything. Wait didn’t they just recently released World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, actually no that happened back in August of this year in a different dimension.
Overwatch is barely managing to survive and is bleeding majority of their playerbase but the only reason the game is still around is because I hear that eSports requires a very small investment and they’re able to keep the game running and release new heroes here and there because those barely require any work and the developers are okay with the low payment salary. I also forgot that Hearthstone doesn’t even require you spend a single dime to even have a half decent deck and be somewhat competitive. You could just outright download the game right now, not spend a single dollar or in-game gold and hit legend rank within a 24 hour period.
Alright, enough with the obvious sarcastic rants so let’s go back to the true star of the show here – Diablo Immortal. I am sorry but I just had to get that off my chest.
If the marketing Diablo team at Blizzard had any brains or even a tiny amount of intelligence then they would have been smart enough to announce the game via blog post or a smaller video game convention such as PAX. Hey Blizzard, didn’t you announce Hearthstone back in the day at PAX? Oh you sure did, so why you announcing a mobile game at the opening ceremony now all of a sudden, what made you think this was a good idea and what made you think that announcing a mobile Diablo game as one of your first of the “multiple Diablo projects by multiple teams” was also a good idea?
Oh. Is it because it requires almost barely any development time and it can just be another Chinese mobile game clone with the name Diablo slapped on it so it can sell like hotcakes to some fatty kid on the block with the Blizzard Entertainment logo attached to it as well? Yep, I am sincerely starting to believe this was your reasoning.
Damn Blizzard you are triple down on this if not quadrupling down on it. I absolutely cannot believe this horrendous PR disaster. Not only did they communicate this whole reveal very poorly they also choose to combat the fans and their audience by deleting top YouTube comments and re-uploading trailers to decreases the dislike count. This is absolutely unreal and acceptable and I really don’t know what to think other than the fact that Blizzard is starting to descending themselves and their Diablo fan-base into actual hell.
Look guys I love my World of Warcraft, I enjoy Overwatch and a casual Heroes of the Storm match here and there and some trading card game combat in Hearthstone as well. But why are you guys acting like this and what is wrong with you?
Why can’t you just release a statement and say something along the lines of “Hey you know we sincerely apologize, we did not handle this properly and we should of done this in a much different way and we’re sorry and we promise we will make it up to you in the future.” Deleting peoples comments and reactions is just adding more fuel to the fire and you’re making the situation worse. I feel like I am talking to a 8 year old child and trying to explain to him or her how to behave properly or how to make up and apologize for your mistakes at this point.
Anyways, that was a ton of negativity just now, so let’s switch up gears and look at the bigger picture and possibly see if there is any kind of bright light shining through the cracks of hell.
Let’s talk about my impression of Diablo Immortal first and foremost and what I actually think of it as a game.
From the timeline and lore prespective I think a Diablo game that places betweeen Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction and Diablo 3 is a very interesting time period, so that has me personally excited. The character models themselves also look a lot more detailed and intricate opposed to the Diablo III models on PC. Addition of new skills and being able to do actual skill combos is another great addition to the game that I wish Diablo III had.
I think my most exciting part about Diablo Immortal is the MMOARPG aspect simply because it’s been a dream to have a Diablo game as an MMO and its finally happening, but the sad part is that its on mobile and I was hoping for a full PC or console experience personally. But hey, maybe Diablo 4 will be its own MMO and be completely separate from Diablo Immortal assuming that it even exists in this world that we live today.
While a mobile Diablo game is not really what I wanted or preferred – Diablo as a game itself does make a lot of sense for the mobile market simply because phones these days are pretty powerful and there are plenty of games that can look good and play well assuming that they’re being developed by a good developer with a good budget.
I can totally see it, whether your laying in your bed or traveling on a bus to school you can easily hop in with your friends, slay a few demons, get some shiny loot and call it a good relaxed and fun session and there’s nothing really bad about that since we know we’re also getting other Diablo games in the future as well as stated multiple times by Blizzard.
Now I know what you’re thinking, you probably think I am a complete hypocrite here since I went from trashing Blizzard to being somewhat excited or interested in Diablo Immortal. The point is that I don’t think people or the community are disappointed because its a mobile game, but rather because how Blizzard is handling this whole deal from beginning, to the actual announcement, today and who knows how they will react or behave in the next few months.
My only last big positive that I can take from Diablo Immortal is that I am deeply hoping that the reason why they have decided to outsource some of the development to Netease is because the core of the Diablo team is working on the big grand daddy Diablo 4 or something else that we have no clue of that’s completely epic and brand new. Meanwhile, Diablo Immortal is just a temporary distraction to hold the fans over once the flagship title is ready to be showcased.
Whether you’re excited for Diablo Immortal or not, it doesn’t matter because the damage has already done and it’s going to be very hard for them to crawl out of it and this is history that’s being made and it’s definitely not a history you want to be a part of, especially if your company is called Blizzard.
As much as I want to have faith in Blizzard it is now very hard for me 100% believe them no matter what they make anymore, because after this now I have to approach everything with a caution. Blizzard – I think you truly have descended yourself into the depths of hell and I hope you’re still making Diablo 4 and a Diablo 2 Remaster because that is the only possible way for you and the Lord of Terror himself to crawl out of. Blizzcon 2019 is going to be do or die, good luck.