The reveal of Diablo Immortal during yesterday's BlizzCon 2018 opening ceremony has been negatively received by much of the hardcore Diablo fanbase, with the game's cinematic reveal trailer currently sporting a dislike-to like-ratio of 277,000 to 8,900.
Now, in various interviews, Blizzard is beginning to respond. In a new interview with Polygon, Blizzard co-founder and executive producer Allen Adham stresses to fans that Diablo Immortal is just a part of Blizzard's future plans for Diablo, confirming that there are multiple unannounced Diablo projects in development.
“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,” Adham said. “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.”
In regards to how the reveal was handled, Adham said many discussions were had about how to best reveal the game.
“We’ve had many conversations — and I’m sure we’ll have many more actually in the aftermath of this — about the strategy of weaving mobile gaming into our BlizzCon audience, which is a very passionate desktop PC and console audience. We had a fairly similar reaction when we announced Hearthstone; if you think back to the Hearthstone announcement at Gamescom our audience at the time, [fans were] a bit unsure of what to expect from a digital card game given our history of making other game types. But then if you look at our history, part of what we do at Blizzard over many years is make different games and different genres, one after another on different platforms. So we’ve done this for a long time, and it usually starts with a little bit of sort of uncertainty and then we win [over] our community over time.”
Speaking with IGN, Blizzard's Wyatt Cheng gave his own response to the negative reception of Diablo Immortal.
“I don’t think mobile should be a dirty word,” Cheng said, explaining that the developers at Blizzard play and enjoy games on all platforms. “When it came to looking at making a new Diablo game, and this opportunity to partner with NetEase to make this – the technology is there, where our mobile phones are more powerful than ever, and they’re capable of top tier gaming experiences.”
Answering a question about fan accusations of Diablo Immortal being a reskinned version of a previously released NetEase game, Cheng had this to say:
“We’ve been working with NetEase Games from the beginning as a partnership to create everything in Diablo: Immortal. We have artists on our side, they have artists on their side, and we work together as a team, as a partnership to create everything about Diablo: Immortal. The environments, the characters, the skills, the story.”
Be sure to read the full stories at IGN and Polygon. We will have our own interview with members of the Diablo team coming shortly, so check back soon.