Netease talks up Diablo Immortal to Chinese fans and onlookers

    
62
Uh...huh.

While American fans at this weekend’s BlizzCon went into full-on meltdown mode, NetEase was also telling Chinese fans about the upcoming Diablo Immortal. It turns out that yes, Netease is taking the technical lead on the game, with the title using its in-house Messiah engine, which was built for 3D-accelerated games on smartphones. It’s been used on a few other titles before now. Not that you’ll have to have a smartphone; the NetEase team is fine with people using emulators to play the mobile-only game on PCs in that roundabout way.

The company reiterated some of Blizzard’s now-standard talking points: There are no firm plans yet on the game’s business model or on things like PvP and guild mechanics; for that matter, it’s not yet set in stone whether Android and iOS players will use the same servers. NetEase did also confirm that the game will not be as dark as the PC titles, although that seems to be a reference to the visuals being brighter so phone users can see it rather than narrative contents. You can check out a couple of preview videos for the Chinese reveals just below.

Source: MMO Culture
Advertisement

No posts to display

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Danny Smith

“no plans on a business model yet” there should be some french or german term we have no word for in english that roughly translates to “bareface lie everyone in the room knows is horseshit but rolls with the hustle anyway”.

K38FishTacos
Reader
K38FishTacos

Pretty sure the French must have something for that. Germans are terrible liars.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
John Bagnoli

Let’s face it. This game will make a ton of money even though it is just a reskinning of other NetEase games. And yes, diablo graphics over the same gameplay is a reskin, we are just used to it in the other direction (poor quality ripoffs from major games instead of a major game giving a poor quality game a makeover).

But that is the face of modern gaming. Get used to it.

Reader
Sorenthaz

Yep, casual mobile gamers don’t really have high standards or anything as long as the game is a familiar name and plays well enough for some mindless fun.

Andy McAdams
Staff
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Andy McAdams

It might be the direction of Triple A gaming, but there’s a lot of great smaller studios doing really cool stuff.

The mobile gaming philosophy is one of scorched earth – they would exploit players until the moment those players go bankrupt or move on, completely abandon the game and create a new, reskin with a marginally different theme to pull in more people.

As they rely on Whales to succeed in this model, and there’s a minority of people with the combination of money and/or lack of sense, this market is definitely a finite resource — which is you see epic amounts of churn in mobile games. Remember a few years ago when Angry Birds was all the rage? Where is Rovio now? A virtual non-player in the mobile gaming space.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
John Bagnoli

True, but as they say the mob is fickle. There was/is plenty of jumping around in MMOs. Heck, I’m very guilty of that. Mobile games just churn faster, or so it seems. I’m not an expert. What also appears to be the case is people willing to spend money in several small increments that make this mobile market very lucrative.

Much to my dismay :)

Reader
Dug From The Earth

“No firm plans on a business model yet”

Translation, “Its going to be Free 2 Play with LOTS of microtransactions, but we know this will lower the games hype and hurt its marketing even more. So for now we are just going to play ignorant.”

Reader
Alex Hyer

Spot on. “Treat your consumers as though they’re ignorant cash cows to turn players into payers.”

Reader
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Suikoden

I wonder where the switch version fits into all this. I did pick Diablo up on Switch because I felt that a portable Diablo was a cool idea. $60 for the game though, so it was definitely not a small investment for me. I’m assuming that the console/PC version will continue to get updates, since a Diablo 4 is not on the horizon for those platforms. I have a PC but no other console except the Switch, which I mostly play when traveling for work. What are your thoughts on where the Switch fits into all this?

Dantos
Reader
Dantos

I dont think it is much more than the Switch being the platform de jour for porting older/indie games that dont fit on a traditional mobile device so people can have a portable version.

Antiseptic
Reader
Antiseptic

The last major content update for Diablo 3 (PC and console) was the Necromancer class with patch 2.6. That was June 2017. The game has since been moved to the Classic Games team and has been technically in maintenance mode since patch 2.6.1 which was released in October 2017.

https://us.diablo3.com/en/game/patch-notes/

The Classic Games team is the same one who are now managing Blizzard’s older titles like StarCraft Remastered, Diablo 2, and also working on the Warcraft 3 remaster.

The Switch version was probably initially, a technical exercise to see if they could also get the game to run on that platform (given how well it is doing so it made sense for Blizzard to look into the platform) so that for the next PC/console Diablo game, they can target it from the beginning. When it turned out to be feasible, they likely put more weight behind the project

Reader
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Suikoden

That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the feedback.

Reader
Venomlicious

Where is the screenshot of that cash shop. I want to see what Blizzard sold their soul for.

Reader
Ironwu

The Blizzard suits directly responsible for this are going to deserve everything they get over this train wreck. Hopefully it is a polite invitation to find a more fulfilling career at another company. We really need folks in charge that are more in tune with the current loyal, and paying, customers.

Reader
Moose_Jaw26

Comments like this are ridiculous. It’s a mobile game, so what? Blizzard has put out quality games for decades and because people feel entitled to a huge announcement every single year, whether a new game or an expansion, people are mad. So now they should lose their jobs? I must have missed the part where blizzard announced they are shutting down all of their other games and going mobile.

Kite91
Reader
Kite91

You nailed it right on the head. They have made quality games in past. Also your right they dont need a huge announcement every year. It’s been 5 years since a diablo announcement. And they hyped us up for this one even if they tried to stop the hype. Ironwu is right. Blizzard is out of touch with gamers and their fanbase and they needed this slap to wake up. And if they dont then the fans will leave them. Oh sure they will still make plenty of money in asian mobile markets but their reputation will be garbage.

Reader
Moose_Jaw26

Long term this will change nothing about blizzards reputation at all. Its hysterical to believe that this is some sort of paradigm shift in blizzards philosophy of game design. They are branching into a new market, that’s all. And they announced it at THEIR OWN convention. How dare they.

Kite91
Reader
Kite91

You are missing the entire point of why people are upset. Yes they are pissed about mobile diablo NOT because they announced a mobile game. They are pissed because they ONLY announced a mobile game to a predominantly PC gaming crowd and they were startled by the response which means they thought it would be fine. They are out sourcing a game to another company when they have always been super close to the chest with their games. People are upset because this is a turning point for ActivisionBlizzard. They are taking it out on diablo immortal because it is the flag blizzard rallied behind to show how out of touch they are. Dont be dense.

Reader
Tim Johnson

Um.. That’s not entirely true. The problem is the games they have outsourced in the past end up getting brought back in house/canceled due to quality issues i.e. Warcraft Adventures and Starcraft Ghost.

zerohunt
Reader
zerohunt

It isn’t just what they announced it was how they announced it and to whom. I think it would not have been a big of a deal if they showed some bits about another Diablo game for PC or even announced it at the beginning of Blizzcon.

Reader
Venomlicious

The New Electronic Arts. I requested my game time refund and will never touch anything Activison again. I see where this is going and i’m not going to stick around while they kill the game. WoD was the start then Legion was worse and now BFA is unplayable.

I see why they went mobile because WoW is no better then a google play game these days.

Reader
Tim Johnson

No offense man, You realize Legion is regarded by the wow playing populace as a good expansion for the most part right? i mean, your allowed to have your personal opinion on it, But that doesn’t mean the majority of people who played the expansion share your opinion so don’t treat your opinion as fact. It’s the disparity between Legion and BFA in terms of quality that is making people so much louder. Coming from a high, into a low makes the fall seem that much worse. If it had been a progression of bad, BFA wouldn’t be causing so many waves in the community. The problem was we went from WoD, wide regarded as one of if not the worst expansion, to Legion which was high point, and then into BFA which is like some where around Cata, the old whipping boy of bad expansions before WoD showed up.

Personally, i hope they Pull a MoP where it starts off “bad”, but pull their heads out their ass and fix the system level dumb By the expansions end.

Reader
Bruno Brito

They are branching into a new market without activity into their old market.

Don’t be dense.

Reader
Lethality

No, it’s the gamers who are out of touch on this one. There’s a much larger world out there and Blizzard wants to be a part of it… traditional core gaming is but a fraction of the pie.

They want new blood, in a much larger market space. That’s who this is for. Not you.

Reader
rosieposie

Don’t act like it’s not pathetic of Blizzard to announce this insulting bullshit like the biggest reveal of a convention attended almost exclusively by diehard PC gaming fans – who paid good money to be there.

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

*ahem* wow

*looks away embarrassed*

rafael12104
Reader
rafael12104

*nervously looks down at feet*
*remembers phone question*

Maybe I should get a new phone…

Reader
Ben Stone

Yes how insulting of them to announce a new game in the Diablo franchise at their flagship conference. The nerve!

I don’t understand PC gamers who are so vitriolic to console gamers and mobile gamers. I play predominantly PC but see a mobile version of Diablo as a good thing.

There are plenty of situations where I can’t even take my Switch with me, so having a quality game to play on mobile would be great.

Dantos
Reader
Dantos

To play devil’s advocate here, they did announce it as the capstone to their opening ceremonies of a convention traditionally attended by their most passionate fans, who are largely PC focused and want to hear about PC things, and they have largely been catered to. Imagine if Apple announced at their big conference, not a new iPhone, but the iFridge, it wouldnt go over well. That’s not saying any attacks against developers or individuals are appropriate in the least, but Im also not going to say poor blizzard, they had to have known the announcement wasnt going to go over well with that crowd.

Reader
Bruno Brito

Not. The. Point.

Reader
Leiloni

Because Blizzard is a PC company and all it’s fans – including all of those who showed up at the conference – are all PC gamers. This is entirely the wrong conference and wrong venue for announcing a mobile title, especially after hyping up a title for the franchise that was rightfully assumed to be PC.

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

I don’t often agree with Lethality but when I do, it’s about Blizz trying to break into the huge pile of money just waiting for them in China.

Dantos
Reader
Dantos

IF they can get in, but I have no doubt they will make a good ROI even without China since NetEase has the framework for mobile action games already locked down, they just need to apply the diablo IP to the formula.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

With the caveat that every single NetEase mobile action RPG game is deeply pay-to-win. To the point you typically don’t have even a prayer of a chance of being competitive if you don’t spend real money in the game, and lots of it.

If Diablo Immortal isn’t P2W, it will be a first for NetEase.

Dantos
Reader
Dantos

There will likely be 2 different models imo, a p2w market for China/other regions where it is seen as the norm, and a cosmetic/convenience market for the west.

Reader
Bruno Brito

Which as Bree said before in another topic, will be a pain considering the new bs they have to go through the government.

Even Tencent is having issues with the Asian market. This game is pretty much a Korean product, and this is clearly biting Blizz in their asses.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

I assume people just aren’t paying attention to what’s going on in China right now. NOTHING is launching in China right now. Tencent cannot even monetize PUBG in China. They are bleeding money. They have lost more than a quarter of their value in 2018 alone. It’s an absolute disaster. This is why so many companies are looking westward right now.

We have a piece out on Tencent later today; I guess I need to make this point more clearly.

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

I think most folks suspect China will open back up soon. That this isn’t a long term thing.

It may be a China flexing its economic muscles to get what it wants.

And given the market, they will. Google willing to create a browser that censors, and isn’t like COD going to create a more censored version of their game for Eastern release?

All that said, it does appear Blizz totally ham-fisted the release info.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

But it’s already been a long-term thing, and it’s actually recently gotten even worse (see the loophole-closing article).

rafael12104
Reader
rafael12104

Yup! No to mention the bullshit government regulations under consideration. Gaming is apparently bad for children eyes so the government is considering restrictions on who can play and how long they can play.

No, I’m not kidding!

https://www.scmp.com/tech/article/2162114/china-regulators-plan-restrict-number-and-usage-new-games-amid-concerns-over

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

While gaming per see isn’t a health issue, excessive gaming can be; staring at a screen close to your eyes for too long can cause problems. In adults this is temporary, solved with eye focusing exercises (i.e., looking at distant objects from time to time) and rest; for children, whose eyes are still developing, it can potentially cause worse, perhaps even permanent, issues.

I don’t think restricting games is the way to solve it, though, more so because the issue is that children spend too much time looking at screens; they don’t need to be playing games to be staring at those screens, so limiting how long they can play games, without otherwise limiting how much they can use mobile devices, computers, and TVs, might not help at all.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

Is it nothing-nothing, or nothing developed outside China? One of the posts I’ve seen about this, apparently by a Chinese NetEase developer (though unrelated to DI), points that making NetEase the leading partner in developing the game is likely an attempt to avoid all the regulatory burden that games developed outside China face.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

Nothing new approved from inside or outside. Since last spring. There were loopholes until a month or so ago; those have since been closed too. Hence the panic, hence the stock plunge for Tencent.

Reader
Leiloni

Branching out into new markets is one thing. But slapping the faces of the fans that made you the one of the biggest gaming companies in the world is stupid at best. You don’t ignore and replace your core fans if you want continued success.

Kite91
Reader
Kite91

Then why not announce it at E3 or a different gaming convention? Do you not hear yourself?? “there is a much larger market space that’s who this is for not you” then announce it to a larger more diverse audience not your core fans who spent hundreds or thousands of dollars to go to a convention for more of what they love. You literally contradicted your own argument.

Reader
Ben Stone

Because their flagship convention was looking pretty sparse for news probably. Outside of this and Warcraft 3 remastered, there really wasn’t much to report back on.

Alyn
Reader
Alyn

@Lethality How does this improve things for us, the consumer base that plays the PC game?

Reader
Bruno Brito

Don’t bother with trying to reason with Lethality. Nowadays, i’m just 100% sure he’s a paid shill.

Also, considering that Xi Jinping tightened his grip on power, it’s extremely unlikely you’ll see regulations soften in China. He has no reason to allow anything that can create buzz he doesn’t want, to enter his country.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

Oh look, its Lethality, Gaming’s most cheerful corporate shill account.

Reader
Venomlicious

There is no quality left. All a see is season passes, loot boxes. In WoW i see p2w gold selling and boosts. Now i see mobile p2w and cash shops from what is now known as Koreacon

Reader
Lethality

You’re not the target audience for this. And this game will be bigger than all other Diablo games, on all platforms, ever, combined.

Reader
Slaasher

I am not the target audience for this either but I agree with you 100%
This thing will be huge.

Reader
Bruno Brito

Huge where? China is screwing up gaming right now. Tencent is suffering, and Blizzard already had several problems years back with the Chinese regulations.

You wanna know why they are pitching this to the West? Because they didn’t expect the Chinese to tighten their grip on regulations, but they did. Now, Blizzard needs to make ends meet with this piece of garbage made for an asian market that will only be played in South Korea and other smaller countries.

This crap will flop, rightfully so. You don’t dishonor your playerbase like this when you’re already on tight spots in some areas.

((Edited by mod. Show, don’t tell. :P))

Reader
Mr.McSleaz

+1

rafael12104
Reader
rafael12104

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Reader
Slaasher

“To make ends meet?”

Reader
Bruno Brito

Yeah, make ends meet. Blizzard may not be strapped for cash, but as Bree just mentioned above, Tencent lost almost 25% of their value in 2018, because they’re losing a huge market.

Anyone, ANYONE who bets on China as a potential market right now will suffer, and if your main approach is to make that market your primary market, you’ll go up in flames.

Not only that, do you really, really, think that a company can dismiss it’s fanbase, take dubious approaches to negative feedback, launch a outsourced p2w game and not take a hit on stocks?

Dude, the world isn’t that simple. Blizzard can’t keep crapping excelence forever. The fountain dries out someday, and in their case, it clearly dried out before D3.

Reader
Venomlicious

Your 100% right and go ask Electronic Arts how that worked out. I’m not putting my eggs in the basket of a 3rd world country.

Reader
Slaasher

I bet eggs are one of the few things you buy that aren’t from a third world country

Reader
Mr.McSleaz

I’m laughing so hard, good one :)

On a side note, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out if eggs from Mexico were being shipped into the U.S.

Reader
Bruno Brito

Ha.

HAHA.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH+++

Reader
Zulke Zulke

Agree, market is huge and hopefully make diablo even more recognizable. Some people just can’t see the forest for the trees. /shrug