Diablo Immortal kicks off technical alpha, confirms that it’s free-to-play

    
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Queries about telephonic ownership aside, Diablo Immortal still has the attention of many who would dearly like to see an official Diablo on a mobile device. The Blizzard-NetEase project dropped a whole ton of information this week, including confirmation of the game’s business model and an imminent start to testing.

First things first: A “limited public technical alpha” test started up with select lucky Aussies this week who will get to check out Diablo Immortal through the Google Play store. Six zones, four classes, and 15-minute dungeons are being included with this test.

Blizzard confirmed that the title will be free-to-play: “We plan on supporting Diablo Immortal with a constant cadence of free content, including new gear, features, classes, stories, and areas to explore. We also want to make sure every purchase feels fair and is guided by a clear set of values that place an emphasis on the player experience for all players.”

The studio also said that Diablo Immortal will take place in the space between Diablo II and Diablo III. The studio is still leaning on the title as an MMO, too: “Each zone can host dozens of other players with whom you can join forces to tackle large-scale zone events and special quests that require multiple participants.”

Source: Diablo Immortal, Blizzard, press release
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Jo Watt

F2P(pay4fun)

There is nothing wrong with them making this game. The thing they did wrong was announced it during Blizzcon which is literally a crowd of almost 100% PC gamers that were expecting either D3 or hoping for D4 news at the time.

It’s just a dumb move to hype up your PC dominate player base then announce a purely Mobile game for a title they have honestly neglected for a while.

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Sorenthaz

Hope it’s worth the reputation hit just to get in on the Chinese mobile market.

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Bruno Brito

Do we want this to succeed or not? Because i’ll be honest here, i kinda wanna root for this thing to fail and for Blizzard to cry outside the communist icecream shop forever.

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Sorenthaz

I’d love to see it fail but they obviously weren’t doing this with their Western audience in mind. This was all about cashing out to get into the Chinese mobile market for the big $$$ from a market they had yet to tap into.

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Bruno Brito

Indeed. But there’s a hope, considering that the mobile market there must be overloaded with this shit, and Blizzard always failed at keeping a decent foothold there, it always felt really fragile.

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Bryan Correll

Do you not have phones Exile?

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HawkeWar

Don’t you have phones?
Who cares what the uber fans think were a real game company now
WoW really isn’t what we planned it just a big goofy world.

Blizzard is dead, It actually died in 2009, but don’t blame Activision…the original devs ran to them with open arms

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Jeremy Barnes

I watched about 15 minutes of it.. saw a guy who had to target an AOE ability that had a round area indicator by moving his character around (the aoe circle was attached to the front of his character). It took a good 8-10 seconds trying to dance around mobs before he could get it in the right position.

I laughed and went on to watch something good.

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Greaterdivinity

I’ve been trying to track down if it has autoplay or not with no luck : (

I’m surprised to see Blizzard do a proper press rollout with demo’s/interviews etc. It feels like they so rarely do that for anything anymore and largely let community lead communications.

I’ll still give it a go. Can’t say it’s something I’ve ever really wanted, but why the heck not, it’s free and I have a phone.

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SmiteDoctor

Hard Pass, we deserved a Diablo 3 Expansion only to get insulted with this.

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Ironwu

Well, looks like Blizzard has hit rock bottom now. What a fall for a once great company that made games loved by gamers and that had such a reputation that everyone wanted to work for them.

Damned shame.

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Greaterdivinity

Because they made another F2P mobile game?

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SmiteDoctor

Because they made a mobile game at all, they didn’t even have the decency to develop it them selves.

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Bhima Jenkins

But, just stay with me here for a sec–what if its good? What if its a decent mobile ARPG? There is still D4 on the horizon, why not try it and see if its a mobile game that is actually fun? I play zero mobile games myself, but I’m not opposed to someone making one that is fun enough to play for longer than like 2 days.

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Bruno Brito

what if its good? What if its a decent mobile ARPG?

It’s a Netease copy-paste of their other ARPGs, so you can test those right away.

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Greaterdivinity

Hearthstone is a mobile game that they developed internally. What’s wrong with them developing mobile games? Are they supposed to ignore a huge potential audience that may want to play their games? I mean, sure it’s a nice “feel-good” sentiment as a hardcore gamer that apparently enjoys gatekeeping, but it’s a terrible business move.

They outsourced it so it’s eating up minimal internal resources while maintaining overall control over quality etc. If core gaming studios are going to expand into mobile, and I don’t know why anyone would be angry about that really, it should be done this way. Unless they’re going to buy a mobile studio or spin up a mobile-specific team.

Gatekeeping remains one of the dumbest things of any fandom. Don’t do that.

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Sorenthaz

They basically bent over backwards for China to do this nonsense because the goal is to tap into the Chinese mobile market. Sure they probably aren’t directly funding/supporting horrid labor practices like Apple does (where they literally set up nets around their parts manufacturer building(s?) to prevent folks from killing themselves by jumping off the roof), but they’ve still allowed crap to happen in order to appease an authoritarian regime that daily takes a massive dump on human rights, all so they can milk as much $$$ as they can out of a product.

I mean we are basically talking modern day Nazi Germany here. Even down to the concentration camps where over a million Uyghur Muslims are currently being “reeducated”, having their organs harvested/sold, being used for cheap slave labor, etc. Why would any company want to get into business with a country like that just to get some extra $$$?

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Bruno Brito

A chinese mobile f2p import which is basically a reskin of all other mobile arpgs Netease has?

Oh my god. Hold me back.

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Danny Smith

Did anyone think a mobage designed to chase that sweet sweet china money was going to NOT be free to play and bursting with “funpay minibuys”?