Diablo Immortal announced by Blizzard, subsequently denounced by gamers
Blizzcon, Blizzard’s annual conference, took place over this past weekend, and while there were several announcements, one definitely stands apart. Diablo Immortal, an upcoming title in the storied and wildly popular Diablo franchise, was announced to a less-than-stellar reception, and that’s putting it lightly.
The game, which is an upcoming mobile-only title, drew the ire of gamers the world over. The game will only be available on Android and iOS, a move that does not sit well with fans of the series. As of this writing, the announcement trailer on YouTube has 2.52 million views, 14,000 likes, and a whopping 422,000 dislikes, making it one of the most hated YouTube videos of all time.
Heavy criticism has been laid upon Blizzard for what many gamers see as a sell-out. The touchscreen title will be developed in collaboration with NetEase, a Chinese mobile gaming company. Several critics pointed out similarities between Diablo Immortal’s teased gameplay and another NetEase game, Crusaders of Light, with some claiming that Diablo Immortal is a re-skin of Crusaders. Blizzard has stated that they and NetEase are building Diablo Immortal “from the ground up,” according to a statement released to Kotaku.
Re-skin or not, the title is rife with controversy. When it was announced at Blizzcon, several fans used the following Q&A session to voice their concerns. One attendee asked if the announcement was “an out-of-season April Fool’s joke,” and the Diablo subreddit is a firestorm of hatred at the moment.
Perhaps most telling is Blizzard’s response to the outcry. When questioned by Blizzcon attendees about why Diablo Immortal was mobile only, designer Wyatt Cheng replied with a rather snarky comment, asking the audience, “Do you guys not have phones?” These remarks and others are fueling the criticism that Blizzard has lost touch with its fans.