On Friday at BlizzCon, Blizzard revealed their Diablo announcement, one that a lot of people had basically been expecting for a while. For a few years now, on their job listings, Blizzard Entertainment had been looking for mobile developers – at the same time, we’d not seen a non-season update for Diablo III in a very long while. The game hadn’t quite fallen off the face of the planet but yes, even I will agree that after a month into a season, I’d be throwing in the towel until the next one came around. So, Blizzard, being the company at the pinnacle of gaming that they are, decided to enter into the mobile gaming market.
Cue whining entitled gamers.
Introducing Diablo Immortal – the first mobile MMOARPG entry in the history of Sanctuary, coming exclusively to iOS and Android. Pick up where Diablo II: Lord of Destruction left off and slaughter your enemies anytime, anywhere. pic.twitter.com/h1Ebe1Gurb
— Diablo (@Diablo) November 2, 2018
Moving into the mobile market is a massive step for anyone; from food delivery apps to banking apps and gaming. It’s generally something that takes quite some time and market research and it may not always work out. In the gaming world there have been a fair few big franchises that fell victim to this – yet Blizzard still decided to go through with it. Heck, they took Hearthstone to mobile – I didn’t see that doing badly. Actually, the Hearthstone numbers are some of the best even though expansion and competition is thick and fast. But here they are – doing what people seem to think is wrong.
“Why mobile?”, you might ask? Simple. Blizzard games, for the most part, have always been accessible to everyone. Sure, they may have a price attached – everything does – but at the core the requirements were never too crazy for someone who might be running an older PC/Mac. The year is 2018, basically everyone viewing the announcements at BlizzCon or following them, has a phone. I’m going to bet that most of them are smartphones too.
The image above, taken from Statista, shows speculated smartphone user numbers globally – meaning that Blizzard hope to break into a GIGANTIC global market – one that they have previously only entered with Hearthstone, to a degree. So the company, in their absolute brilliance and wisdom, decided to go that way too and why are people complaining?
Because they did not get what they wanted. Forums and Tweets filled with childish tantrums because Blizzard did not announce what you wanted to hear. Not because Blizzard said, “we are not making Diablo 4”. No. Those words were not uttered. In actual fact, what we were told was that Blizzard have been hard at work at multiple Diablo-based projects but due to many factors (which they do not need to reveal) they decided not to impart these unto us this year. Why is that a problem? It’s not. Yet people are claiming to have paid for something that they’re not getting.
Last I checked, Diablo III has been around for many MANY years, and has a transaction for the Necromancer. Maybe I’m missing something else – but apart from paying the Developers for their work on DIII, what exactly are you claiming to have paid for? Imagine owning a car and then telling the car company that they should pay your petrol since you bought their car. IMAGINE throwing tantrums and trying to bring disrepute to that company because they say that they can only offer you a service plan but not free petrol.
This whole thing, much like many before, stems from people thinking that they are owed ANYTHING by developers. At the bottom line, the fact that content is released at all is amazing. The fact that Bethesda have released Skyrim on every single possible platform (except mobile) speaks wonders about the company, because they understand their market. And they brought out Fallout Shelter which did not “bomb” (excuse the pun) and people were patient. So has the Blizzard community come to this? I refuse to believe that it has, having been a part of it for two-thirds of my existence – I’m more inclined to believe that it is merely shock, a bit of disappointment and some over-reacting.
It was also announced that Diablo: Immortal would not be able to be played offline. And there was uproar again. What year are we living in that this is a problem? And once again, DIII couldn’t be played offline either. So why the raucous? I’ll tell you why. Because there are a ton of angsty, angry, entitled gamers out there who think they are owed something by the devs. They think that because they decided to buy a loot box – well they should definitely get something they wanted, not a bunch of stuff they don’t want.
Sure, I’m disappointed about there being no announcement. I am also disappointed every year that goes by without Half-Life 3, I’m disappointed that Garrosh did nothing wrong, I’m disappointed in the community – but am I going to cry about it? No. Because I understand what the devs/artists/designers/everyone on the entire team have to go through and that even if they did make it, they wouldn’t release it to a bunch of little brats that throw tantrums.
Since then it has been revealed that, according to some sources, Blizzard were originally planning to announce Diablo 4 at BlizzCon but a few weeks prior to the event they decided against it. Once again, like on Friday, people are assuming that this is ‘Damage Control’ by the company and again complaining across the internet. If this indeed is damage control, then it is a bit of a weird way to go about it, seeing as the company could have hundreds of reasons for not showing it; the most obvious is the backlash of a game that is bug-filled (similar to the current PC beta for a certain long awaited game which has some up-in-arms and others nonchalant). If it’s actually true that they are trying to avoid the backlash, then it makes no sense as then they would have to suddenly start working on Diablo 4 in the background and have some sort of decent showing of the game very soon. So, once again, the internet have just been seen as babies throwing tantrums without having any real evidence.
While I have no evidence to support my reasoning beyond my belief in Blizzard for 20 years, at least I’m not throwing a tantrum, whining or crying about not getting something that could actually be coming at a later date.
After speaking at length with a friend about this topic, they brought up that the PC community feel cheated from this announcement, that they could have given the PC Diablo fans something to tide them over for the time being. But I don’t agree with this – the announcements at BlizzCon were all absolutely perfect – Blizzard covered their bases and even through the Question session, they held their own in the face of trolls asking the worst questions.
Blizzard have been making games for a very long time and the day I see one of the people whining and throwing tantrums create something with one quarter of the player base as a single Blizzard game, then I’ll say that you’re not being an entitled brat. Until then, sit down, pipe down, and let Blizzard teach you a thing or two about the world.
Is it early April Fools? No. Are they getting the whole world to talk about their new game? HELL YES! Jebaited!
Disclaimer: This piece is not about people voicing actual concerns about a mobile game (micro-transactions) as that is legitimately something that every real gamer in this day an age has to unfortunately put up with in some way, shape or form. They exist to keep things running but they exist in a terrible way in some games, here’s hoping Diablo: Immortal is not one of the bad apples.