Earlier today, during a presentation at BlizzCon 2018, Blizzard announced Diablo Immortal, a new mobile title in the Diablo franchise. Suffice it to say, Diablo fans were not pleased.
Shortly after Blizzard’s announcement, a Reddit thread titled “Blizzard, Diablo on mobile is a slap in the face” rose to the top of the r/Diablo subreddit. “This is actually one of the most embarrassing things i’ve [sic] ever seen,” reads one of the top comments in the thread. “We got a mobile game, when the community has been INSANELY vocal about what we want,” the writer continued.
Others in the Reddit thread shared the same sentiment. “I am still in disbelief that this is their actual, only announcement for Diablo,” reads another top comment. Another commenter agreed with this sentiment, replying, “Acting like this is the biggest development of the franchise in years? That’s the cardinal sin.”
These are just three of the 727 (and counting) comments present in the thread. Other r/Diablo Reddit threads house similar attitudes containing just as much vigor; there are fans that wish Blizzard announced a remastered Diablo game (“Not even Diablo 2 remaster…”), fans that are trying to make light of the situation (“Curb Your Diablo 4″), and fans that can’t help but think that Blizzard pulled a practical joke on them (“Is this an out of season April Fools joke?“).
Blizzard announces Diablo Immortal, a mobile game. Unfortunately I feel like I’ll have to be immortal to live long enough to see them do something with Diablo 2.
— AlphaOmegaSin (@AlphaOmegaSin) November 2, 2018
It isn’t just Reddit that’s ragging on Diablo Immortal. The game’s cinematic trailer on YouTube has a terrible like-to-dislike ratio, currently sitting at 3,000 likes and 76,000 dislikes. Additionally, a cursory Twitter search yields the same types of reactions with few fans maintaining a positive outlook on the upcoming game.
Despite fan frustration, it’s hard to blame Blizzard for the overwhelming vitriol directed at them. Earlier this month, after BlizzCon’s schedule unintentionally started a sensationalistic rumor mill, Blizzard issued a statement on the official Diablo blog essentially tellings players to temper their expectations. “We know what many of you are hoping for and we can only say that ‘good things come to those who wait,’ but evil things often take longer,” Blizzard’s statement read, also acknowledging the existence of “multiple teams working on different Diablo projects.”
Blizzard isn’t the only company to receive this type of reaction after announcing a mobile title. Over the course of the last few years, there’s been a palpable, growing anger directed game developers that have decided to pivot to mobile titles. A similar frustration brewed earlier this year when Electronic Arts unveiled Command and Conquer: Rivals, another mobile title, at its EA Play 2018 press conference.
Whether or not this type of fan backlash will change Blizzard’s future development plans remains to be seen. Regardless, Diablo 4 (if it does exist) won’t be coming anytime soon.