A brief look into the faults and upset over the Diablo Immortal mobile game
Darien Horwood, Contributor
Megan Orr, Opinions Editor
Illustration by Kyle Papilla
Can you imagine having the audacity to ask a room full of gamers if the reason they were booing was because they didn’t have phones? This was an actual occurrence at Blizzard Games’ BlizzCon that took place in Anaheim, California on Nov. 2-3. The annual convention is held to showcase upcoming projects, as well as to promote current franchises and offer fans the opportunity to cosplay and interact with the creators of their favourite games. When fans of Diablo were told they were receiving a mobile version of the game, rather than the highly anticipated fourth instalment, they were not happy. The idea, to bring a new audience to the dark franchise, fell flat in what was a boring and downright aggravating press conference. Although fans’ anger wasn’t completely unreasonable, they should reserve judgment until they actually see the finished product.
While the crowd was justified in their reaction, some have accused fans of being entitled and childish. Additionally, if they had actually been paying attention in the days and weeks leading up to the conference, they would have realized that the announcement Blizzard was hinting at was not about a possible Diablo IV, as they had been actively playing down the excitement surrounding their press conference. Although the news was disappointing, it shouldn’t have come as a shock. However, this isn’t the first time that gamers have overreacted before actually playing the game.
These reactions are not atypical in the gaming community, or even within the Diablo fandom. On June 28, 2008 Diablo III was announced for both PC and console. Fans of this exclusively PC game were upset by the idea, saying that it will diminish the quality of the final project, among other concerns.
Similarly, December 2012 saw mixed reactions to the announcement of Hearthstone, a trading card game based off of Blizzard’s number one selling product, World of Warcraft. Disappointment rang through the fandom wondering why Blizzard wasn’t giving them a big game to play, instead opting to make a free-to-play online card game based on World of Warcraft. Both Diablo III and Hearthstone went on to become very popular, with ratings of 88 out of 100 on Metacritic.
By the time BlizzCon’s Diablo Q&A rolled around the crowd was visibly frustrated. When someone asked if the game would be coming to PC, and the answer was no, fans were livid. Enter Blizzard’s biggest mistake: not announcing Diablo IV alongside this mobile game like Bethesda did when they announced Fallout 4 and Fallout Shelter on the same day. By announcing both, Blizzard could have shown that, yes, they are tapping into a multi-million dollar market, but they are still keeping true to the fans’ wishes. Along with the inability to read a room, Blizzard fell short of expectations and fans responded accordingly (entitled or not).
Ultimately though, there’s no point in booing and being angry when everything we’ve seen tells us that there’s nothing to be worried about. Yes, we don’t like change and we do feel entitled to have things made specifically for us as fans. If something doesn’t appear to be exactly what we thought it should be we don’t like it. However, history has shown that despite lack of excitement for some franchise instalments, Blizzard does make great games and will continue to do so. Whether or not it’s what you were hoping for, we should all be happy that an amazing franchise is getting more story and lore behind its ever-expanding universe.