Diablo IV talks up player choice in PvE and endgame while Diablo Immortal rakes in $24M in revenue


The devs of Diablo IV are hitting the press trail, putting out interviews and previews of the multiplayer ARPG ahead of its 2023 release window. An interview with director Joe Shely and general manager Rod Fergusson offers up some tidbits about D4’s dungeon design, endgame plans, customization, and more about the Necromancer class.

A lot of the interview talks up customization for player characters, using the Necromancer as a template for the number of build options players will have available to them, the inherent freedom of the game having an open world, and the amount of character customizaton that’s possible in terms of both cosmetics and skills.

Choice is also brought up in the game’s PvE features like liberating strongholds that are then built up as safe havens or destinations for other players, engaging with local events that spring up while doing other quests, and delving the various dungeons players will encounter, each one randomly generating with a given set of visual and enemy parameters specific to that dungeon. On the subject of dungeons, there will also be sigils that players can apply to dungeons to make them Nightmare dungeons with unique effect affixes – think the rifts from Diablo III.

The devs also talk about the Fields of Hatred PvP area, where players can freely attack one another, building up charges of hatred with each kill that effectively flags a player with enough charges as a high-value target. Finally, the interview discusses endgame, once again promising plenty of player agency while talking about a new Paragon system:

“Paragon is an actual board. Think of it as a checkerboard. It’s much more granular than that, but for simplicity’s sake, say a checkerboard, and you have to navigate your way by unlocking squares as you move across the board. Each of those squares could be plus five strength or a different ability or something that enhances your skills. And so you’re able to click these different boards together and make your own path through.

“That’s one of the things we really like about Diablo IV. Even if Joe and I both were creating a Barbarian, and even if we both wanted to be Whirlwind Barbarians as an example, we could still have completely different builds.”

Meanwhile, a preview video further bangs the drum of customization options available to players, discussing things like how legendary powers on items can be removed and placed on a different item and showing off how Necromancers can determine what kind of class their skeleton minions can be.

In other Diablo news, the first two weeks of Diablo Immortal have proven to be very lucrative for Blizzard, with the game raking in $24M since launch – a revenue figure that’s mostly evenly split between iOS and Android users. In terms of adoption, most of the downloads come from the US, and 43% of this revenue came from US players, with South Korean players coming in second at 23%. (For scale: Korea has one-sixth the number of people in the US, total.)

Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial gaming company owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In 2021, the company was sued by California for fostering a work environment rife with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. Multiple state and federal agencies are investigating the company as employees strike and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation. As of 2022, the company is being acquired by no less than Microsoft.
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