Diablo Immortal - Stay awhile and pay on your mobile

Yeah, I’m sure it will make the boardroom types happy, but why they thought this should be the premier announcement at BlizzCon baffles me. What an idiotic move.

Did they not have anything else to show, I guess?

This would have gone over a lot better if it segued into a Diablo III expansion announcement, coming to both PC and Console day/date. That’s kind of what I had assumed they were going to do.

I’ve got to feel sorry for the poor guy they sent out on stage to announce this to a largely hardcore PC/console audience. He looked like he wanted to disappear into a black hole towards the end there.

I feel bad for him too, especially he has a lot of good will with the Diablo community for salvaging the wreck that was Diablo 3.

Announcing a mobile Diablo game is like announcing a multi-player only Fallout game. It feels like these big AAA studios are catering to shareholders and not the hard core fan-base, lately.

Guess you could say we’ve come full-circle in some ways from the days when Blizzard had issues with stuff like Diablo: Hellfire.

Honestly, it would be more interesting if it were an internal development from Blizzard rather than outsourced to a third-party developer. At least then there might be a chance of it having something unique to it rather than possibly being just another clone of another mobile game.

Lately?

Feels like it’s gotten worse lately, yes.

They sold there soul to EL DIABLO back when they charged cash for horse mounts in WoW… that was YEARS ago! Love the egg on the face of Blizzard. Couldn’t happen to a more unoriginal company.

And they threw the Asian guy under the bus. Thanks Blizzard! THATS RACIST!

I seriously feel so bad for Wyatt Cheng. To put the Savior of Diablo out there to pitch a Chinese mobile game bearing the Diablo name in front of that crowd… ouch. You could tell it hurt.

And seriously, the “don’t you people have phones?” retort? Not great!

I think the fact it is a NetEase reskin is what hurts the worst. Blizzard might just rehash ideas, but it is the Blizzard ‘polish’ that lets them get away with it. Outsourcing != Blizzard polish.

The thing about Blizzard (of old) is that they’d steal an idea but just add that extra 10% to it that made it something special. Take Starcraft for instance, where RTS games either had two factions that were nearly clones of each other, or something like C&C where you had 2 factions that had different units but fundamentally played the same (everyone uses Tiberium, etc). Then Starcraft comes along with three factions that play entirely differently. I mean the Zerg get their supply not from farms, but from Overlords? And that unit is also their troop transport? And is the cloak detector as well? Whoa!

Same with World of Warcraft. Sure, it copied the entire base over from Everquest and other PVE-oriented MMOs, but it added that amazing Blizzard polish – in a genre that desperately lacked polish of any kind – and then put their own spin on it by having things like Instances, having the game be quest-driven instead of camping monsters, etc.

That was their strength: taking someone else’s concept and just doing it so much better and with higher production values than anyone else. Slapping their brand on mobile shovelware developed by a third-party is just completely going against their strengths. And Blizzard brass used to understand the importance of their name and reputation and were willing to kill entire projects that just didn’t meet up to their standards. They knew that in the long view it was better to eat the costs of a cancelled game than it was to start degrading the value of their name.

Unfortunately, most public corporations these days are just unable to look past a quarter or two because of where the incentives are. I’m sure just by the nature of the game and the fact they have access to the Chinese market they are going to rake in some serious cash on this. It’s a short-term boost that’s going to erode their brand in the long run, though.

Yep, it’s a bit sad to see Blizzard acting like other publishers. Did Blizzard finally stop winning battles with Activision, or did Blizzard’s own culture change?

That was definitely a cringey moment. Cheng deserves better. They should have opened with what Bethesda did for Elder Scrolls 6, an announcement that yes, they’re working on it, and it’s going to be awesome, and here’s this other thing in the same universe they’re announcing today.

Wow people sure are Angry Online about this.

I mean people can play it or not play it but Reddit has threads on how Blizz developers are bad people for not quitting their jobs in protest and I just can’t even at this sillyness.

Path of Exile is apparently seeing quite a bump out of all this. So someone is happy.

DreamForge’s War Wind would like a word with you.

I mean it’s silly, yes, but others in this thread and elsewhere are right that it was a misfire to announce at Blizzcon. They could have picked a better venue, Chinajoy (which was in early August), for example, and announced it before the show.

Would people still complain if they made it more obvious that this is a China-focused play? Sure, but it’d be more muted and it wouldn’t be happening at/during their annual fan event where it’s supposed to be all cheers.

I’d be interested in understanding why they chose Blizzcon. On the one hand, it’s their big annual showcase, and NetEase is a big, important partner, but on the other hand it’s so PC focused, still, and we all know how defensive PC gamers get about anything that’s not on PC.

I did feel a bit sorry for the guys on stage, but I think the fact that Blizzard didn’t anticipate this reaction shows that they’ve sort of lost touch with the fans (or perhaps they’ve given up on them?)