BlizzCon 2018: Diablo fans go into full-fledged meltdown mode over Immortal

    
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It’s hard to imagine a more perfect storm of nerdrage than the one that Blizzard concocted at BlizzCon this Friday. Sorely neglected Diablo fans who looked forward to a major, center-stage announcement were stunned at the news of the Netease-developed mobile version. This paralysis soon turned to rage, as many fans on Reddit, the forums, YouTube, and Twitter quickly rose up against the studio for the move.

“I feel a good portion of that crowd (that I know) are very disappointed with the Diablo Immortal announcement(s) at Blizzcon,” one poster said. “It was such a feeling of betrayal, even from attendees at Blizzcon. When was the last time the crowd actually booed with meaning behind it, and not as a joke?”

The hashtag #RIPDiablo was trending at one point on Twitter, and the official cinematic video received 82,000 downvotes against 3,200 upvotes during the first few hours. Reader Pepperzine pointed out that there even has been a petition (of COURSE there’s a petition) to cancel Diablo Immortal outright.

And out of all of this anger and bewilderment rose one BlizzCon attendee who asked the studio if this was an “out-of-season April Fool’s joke” to applause and cheers. The clip quickly went viral:

Worth noting is that Blizzard Watch has some additional details Blizzard made available about the game: The business model hasn’t been finalized, we don’t yet know how many players will be visible on-screen (to justify that “MMOARPG” title they’ve given it), loot will be per player, Blizz wouldn’t clarify how much of the game was built by NetEase, and they say they aren’t targeting a new audience with mobile. This particular interview is vague on other platforms (like the Switch), though the panel made clear it won’t be coming to PC.

Source: Change.org, Diablo Reddit, Diablo forums. Thanks Pepperzine!
Follow all of Massively OP’s coverage of BlizzCon 2018, Blizzard’s annual fan convention highlighting World of Warcraft, Diablo III, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and beyond!

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Rottenrotny

People are being silly.

I g u a r a n t e e you that they’ve already been working on Diablo 4. This is just something for in the meantime and a way to fill in the missing gaps story wise between 2 and 3.

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jay

So I have this conspiracy theory that bliz is actually working on a Diablo MMO behind the scenes, and they just couldn’t talk about it yet this year. So instead they gave the fans this mobile garbage instead to sate them, and “tide them over” until they can talk about the actual game they are working on.

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Reht

I think you are partially correct, we already know that Blizzard is working on other Diablo projects. However, i don’t think the mobile game is designed to tide Diablo fans over, i think the development of the mobile game was pushed more by NetEase to further increase their market share in mobile gaming, especially in Asian markets where this game will probably be very well received.

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Taran Wonderer

How entitled can Diablo fans be?
Death threat-level whining over a studio trying to gin up excitement for an actual project which isn’t the desired project. Raging over not being offered information about a game that doesn’t yet exist, but is in production–unlike, say, anything regarding my other favorite IPs–because Blizzard’s marketing department focuses on new fans rather than the old ones? Meanwhile they are actively remastering the games their old fans love?
This is so embarrassing. It’s like everyone is Trump, now, thinking that they have a right to verbally terrorize people who don’t do exactly what they want because they have a platform and a stupidly angry mob behind them.

Let’s be super clear: If you bought a ticket to go to/see BlizzCon specifically for a Diablo reveal and not for anything else, you don’t have an argument that your money was wasted. If you were always going to spend it entirely on possibly getting news about an in-development game one minute faster than everyone else with internet, you had the money to burn.

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Cosmic Cleric

If you’re done preaching, and feeling good about yourself?

1) I haven’t seen anyone here, or on any other site or YouTube video, or broadcasts from inside of BlizzCon, threaten anyone with death over this. Exaggerate much? Or maybe its obfuscate much instead. And yes, I’m sure there’s one guy out there who will order 100 boxes of pizza and have it delivered to the devs, but that doesn’t mean ALL angry Diablo gamers would do anything along the lines of what you suggest. Sheesh.

2) They’re raging because they’re tired of “profit at all costs, over customer satisfaction”. Its how the market works, sells stuff that people want, you get praised. Sell stuff that people don’t want, you get yelled at. Its called ‘Capitalism’. One man’s “whining” is another man’s telling a company about their dissatisfaction of their product releases path.

3) Honestly, sycophants are more embarrassing to the gamer community than ‘raging Diablo players’.

4) Nobody gives a feces about the ticket buying and no announcement, they care about no new content announcement itself, that they expected to hear about while at BlizzCon. For any company, any “big” announcement happens during their major events at a trade show, that’s the norm, and expected (doesn’t matter if its Blizzard, or some computer company at Comdex, etc.) The fact that Blizzard didn’t talk about new Diablo content for the PC doesn’t men that people were entitled to hearing something because they bought a ticket, but just that they were EXPECTING to hear something there. There’s a difference.

5) How stupid can Blizzard’s marketing department be NOT to make at least some kind of teaser announcement of something upcoming PC-based. Its not like they had to announce a new product, but just say something along the lines of (“… and we haven’t forgotten you PC gamers, we’re hard at work behind the scenes, stay tuned!”. Blizzard must really be disconnected from their U.S. customer base (or just think really poorly of them) not to think of that contingency, especially that it put some of their own employees into some very embarrassing situations. Kind of sad, really.

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Coldrun ??

Well said. They’re being pretty silly.

I hope they come out with Diablo 4 soon. That’d be great!

Diablo Immortal doesn’t sound like my cup of tea as a mobile game, but it sounds pretty fun from people who played it. We’ll see when reviews come out what it’s like.

If it’s bad, I’ll be disappointed and hope for a better game in D4.

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Ittybumpkin

They took the rage from the D3 launch and doubled it with this move

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Satyros

The problem is not the mobile Diablo game. It makes sense for them to reach out to the new generation of gamers and the Asian markets.
The problem is that they presented this to their core audience as if it was the next big thing. They had people pay for a ticket and transport to let them know that they are not the audience of the next Diablo game.

Veldan
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Veldan

That’s not true. If that were the case, it would be only the people present as Blizzcon who are angry.

The YouTube video has 371k dislikes at this point, that’s indicative of a lot more anger than just a bunch of people who felt their Blizzcon ticket was a waste.

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jay

I think you missed the whole point of what he had said. He wasn’t talking exclusively about the blizcon attendees. But the wider diablo audience as a whole. The whole attendees thing was more of an add on on the end if I’m not mistaken.

Veldan
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Veldan

Fair enough, that’s possible. It can be read both ways tbh.

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Cosmic Cleric

Well, up to now, their “core” audience has been PC Gamers (vs. mobile), not just people who attend BlizzCon. :) But who knows, after that announcement. :p

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Bryan Dixon

I play diablo casually so I not upset with the announcement.
I even pre registered for the game hoping to get in early.

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Buddy Barlow

God forbid were pissed about a diablo game being outsourced to a asian studio. This is nuts man… of course were mad about everything else too.

All they needed to do was drop a D4 logo at the end instead of showing THIS at the end like it was something huge, this is a filler game to appease the mobile masses..well the mobile masses HAVE NEVER been there for blizzard, we as a PC crowd has lined Blizzard pockets with cash and they really dropped the ball.

You always take care of your core gamers first before reaching out to other markets.

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agemyth ?

I don’t get what is upsetting about Blizzard making a mobile Diablo. It is the biggest platform for games and foolish to completely ignore. I have zero interest in playing it more than the amount of time it takes to satisfy my curiosity of how Blizzard designs it, but there’s a good chance this will be a huge hit and draw more attention to Diablo as a franchise.

This is not Diablo 4 and it is being made by Blizzard’s mobile team and NetEase, so whatever the next big “real” Diablo game is won’t be affected much by this. Let people who like playing games on their phones have fun too.

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Tanek

Personally, I don’t think the problem is the mobile game so much as it is how things were presented. When Blizzard said they had multiple Diablo projects in the works, anyone who did not think at least one of those was mobile has not been paying attention to the industry. But then to make it their “big reveal” in front of an excited Diablo PC/console crowd was maybe not the best thing to do. especially when they specifically said it would not even be done as a PC version down the line.

If they had kept things a bit less secret and done a better job of managing expectations, I do not think the reaction would have been quite so bad. Yes, there would still be people upset this is not D4 and there would still be idiots sending death threats and other malicious messages, but would it be the full weight of what they were hit with after the announcement?

Also, I think anyone saying D4 won’t be affected by this has not been paying attention either. Having a different team/company work on the game is not the biggest factor I am looking at. It is how much Blizzard will or won’t want to risk pulling any of the focus away from what they hope will be a big financial winner. Just like I believe ESO did and does affect when we see another Elder Scrolls RPG, I believe it is naive to think a big rollout of a mobile Diablo won’t affect how long it is before we see a D4.

So, while I do think some people go way too far in their reaction, I do understand why it is upsetting. especially given how it was presented.

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Alex Hyer

This was the wrong venue to announce this project.

This venue is for hardcore gaming, mobile games are casual gaming. You do not announce a casual mobile game as the Key Spotlight at your hardcore gaming showcase.

It is a giant blunder.

bereman99
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bereman99

If it was truly Blizzard designing the game I think the negative reaction wouldn’t be as strong as we’re seeing. It’s not, though – the art and story is Blizzard’s, but the game itself comes from Netease (this is a partnership with them), which happens to be painfully obvious when comparing it to games they’ve made like Endless of God (which has very, very similar Isometric style gameplay) and Crusader of Light (which has a very, very similar UI design).

This is, essentially, a Diablo skin on top of one of Netease’s games, not a wholly in-house developed property.

Add to that the manner in which this was announced – putting it at the end of the opening ceremony, where traditionally big announcements have been placed, and having a panel set right after it? Blizzard set a certain level of expectation with that.

Even once they tempered it a bit with their earlier post, the reasonable takeaway would have been that they likely had several smaller announcements, of which a mobile game could certainly have been one, and the reasonable expectation of the panel was that it would include some info about those expected multiple smaller announcements.

So imagine a player who is a big franchise fan, either watching at home or spent the money to actually get to Blizzcon that year, and they were really excited to hear about the next Diablo project, specifically made by Blizzard.

Wyatt Cheng comes out and is very much hyped (and that first cheer when he came on stage was the biggest anything Diablo related would get) and begins to the announcement…and reveals a mobile game. Looks okay, though not necessarily what the franchise fans were really looking for, and the mention of Netease almost certainly raised some eyebrows. It was, in essence, the kind of reaction that most franchises going to mobile have been getting…

So then we’re all waiting (I was watching this live from home, so I have first hand experience with this) for what must assuredly be the next piece of news – a new class perhaps, or a new expansion teased, or maybe just confirmation that D4 is in development but they aren’t ready to show anything…

And instead it ends.

We are left with the news that the only confirmed Diablo project is a mobile game that isn’t even out yet and won’t be until next year, and then we later learn that the game itself is basically a reskin of a Chinese mobile game (microtransactions and inventory design, etc., may work differently…but that’s speculation right now at best…so small comfort there).

And then…and THEN…the devs, which are likely in over their heads at this point and blindsided by the negative reaction, unfortunately mishandled the situation with “Do you guys not have phones?” as well as the more obvious intentional moves of changing the link to the trailers to try and reset the like/dislike ratio on YouTube.

That the Diablo franchise has a game coming to mobile platforms is ultimately only a small part of the intense negative reaction – how and where it was announced, and the lack of anything else (for a Franchise that saw its last major content release in what…2014?) were far bigger factors.

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Cosmic Cleric

I don’t get what is upsetting about Blizzard making a mobile Diablo.

Its customer satisfaction tone deaf, and shows that Blizzard just doesn’t get their customer base these days, which angers the customer base. Nobody likes to be ignored, especially when they’re loyal to the entity ignoring them.

Also, the Diablo crowd has really been waiting a long time for Blizzard to throw them a bone (a.k.a. ‘new content’/’game’), so going to BlizzCon and seeing that presentation was a bit like Lucy from the Peanuts comics pulling the football out of Charlie’s way just when he was about to kick it (football being new content, Charlie being the Diablo fans, and Lucy being Blizzard).

Ernost
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Ernost

I don’t get what is upsetting about Blizzard making a mobile Diablo. It is the biggest platform for games and foolish to completely ignore.

The thing is, the people who attend Blizzcon are not the type of people who play mobile games. These are players who are so hardcore, they pay money to attend what is essentially a glorified marketing event for Blizzard. You do not announce a mobile game at this event. You especially do not then insult them by asking them “Do you not have phones?”.

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Jo Watt

“Do you guys not have phones!?”

Blizzards new gaming logic…
If you have a phone, you love mobile games. You say you dont, but really you do.

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Cosmic Cleric

“Do you guys not have phones!?”

Blizzards new gaming logic…

My PC has a longer battery life, for 3D games. It’s called plugged into the wall.

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Schmidt.Capela

Sincerely, if I want to play mobile games, I will bring either my 3DS or my Switch. And this despite using a high-end 10″ tablet as my “phone”.

Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Wyatt is not helping himself by saying that phones are now as powerful as consoles and technically can handle it.

How is it that the king of PC gaming doesn’t understand that mobile phone games are inferior? And that people who spend hundreds of dollars on their gaming rigs and peripherals don’t want to play on a small screen with sub-par controls?

Yeah, I know. Money. But still. BlizzCon was so not the place to announce this. Now they are underwater and likely to remain so.