Blizz-con is done and dusted, the announcements are all wrapped up and the smoke has cleared. However, the fires are still burning and not in a particularly good way.
Yes, we got the cool announcement of Warcraft 3: Reforged but the fire that rages, its in the eyes of furious Blizzard fans after discovering that the long awaited next game in the Diablo franchise called Diablo Immortal will be on mobile with no immediate plans to come to PC. Blizzard seem to be deaf to this Diablo outrage.
The news broke at Blizz-con this weekend, fans were teased with the possibility of a Diablo announcement prior to the event and of course the dedicated fandom salivated at the thought of Diablo 4 being officially announced. Diablo Immortal is announced to the world as a fully-fledged Diablo experience on mobile platforms, the saliva turned to ash in the audiences’ mouths and a rain of boos echoed across the venue.
I’m not a Diablo fan, I have played Diablo 3 to some extent and enjoyed what I played, with that being said I can understand the anger and black-lash.
When a game is birthed and bred on a specific platform for a long time it becomes synonymous with that platform, so the idea that Diablo Immortal was announced at Blizz-con in front of thousands of fans that have played the franchise on PC just to announce a Mobile game really doesn’t make sense to me, the anger and confusion from fans becomes acceptable at that point and shows me that Blizzard no longer knows their core audience.
No matter how powerful the mobile platform can be, I, for one do not want to tap on glass to control a video game. It doesn’t matter how good the game is, it could be the next Game of the Year or whatever but if it’s controlled by a touch-screen I have no interest in it, I’d like to think most Diablo players feel the same.
Regardless of this, I can confidently say that Diablo Immortal will do well for Activision Blizzard, it’s on mobile, the mobile market is huge and there’s always people burning money into mobile games, it’s a guaranteed cash cow.
That’s how Activision are making bank these days, millions of dollars in profit solely from micro-transactions.
The way Blizzard are monetizing the title has yet to be announced but I do feel that it will be Free-to-Play and sustained through micro-transactions.
If that is the case then there will be an unnecessary grind, more so than normal to encourage players to either pay to skip or pay for in game currency. It’s literally gutting the game to shape it around the mobile monetization model. That is the fear, and that is what the outrage is all out. Damn right people are upset.
Since the announcement the YouTube trailer for Diablo Immortal has been mass down-voted, to a degree I haven’t seen since Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s trailer back in 2016. Fans are expressing their dissatisfaction the best way they can.
The mobile market is dominant in the gaming industry, raking in a massive $70.3 billion by the end of 2018, those numbers look extremely attractive to companies like Activision Blizzard. I won’t be surprised to see more big titles make the transition to the platform, just like Diablo, they’ll either be mega hits, raking in a ton of cash or ultimately kill a franchise dead.
All fans can do now is wait and see what Diablo Immortal does for the future of the franchise.