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.