Blizzard is facing backlash from fans after announcing Diablo: Immortal, a massively multiplayer mobile game at Blizzcon 2018 this weekend.
The mobile game’s announcement trailer has almost two million views on Youtube, with 265,000 dislikes to its 10,000 likes, and many fans on Diablo’s subreddit are calling the announcement a “slap in the face” and “worse than nothing”. In a Q&A at a Blizzcon panel, one attendee asked if the mobile game was meant to be an “April Fool’s joke”.
Fans were hopeful that this year’s Blizzcon would mean a Diablo 4 announcement. Following the backlash, though, Blizzard responded to the overwhelming fan criticism of developing a Diablo game for the mobile platform. Polygon spoke with Allen Adham, executive producer and co-founder of Blizzard, about the disappointment with fans.
“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. 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,” Adham explained, in his interview with Polygon.
Adding to the backlash, one Redditor found similarities between Diablo: Immortal and NetEase’s Crusaders of Light mobile game, calling Blizzard’s mobile game a “reskin”. NetEase and Blizzard are working together on the development of Diablo: Immortal, and Wyatt Cheng, Blizzard’s principal designer, spoke with IGN about these accusations.
“We’ve been working with NetEase Game 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 Diablo: Immortal. The environments, the characters, the skills, the story,” Cheng said.
According to Blizzard, the MMO mobile game is set to take place “in between the events of Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction and Diablo III”. No release date is set yet for the mobile game, but those interested in playing can pre-register now for iOS and Android devices.