IGN spoke with Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack about fans’ negative reactions to the announcement of the mobile Diablo Immortal.
According to Brack, Blizzard has learned “a huge number of lessons” from the poor reception of their latest project.
Blizzard co-produced the mobile installment in the Diablo franchise with its Chinse publishing partner, NetEase. The reveal came in November 2018 at Blizzcon. Fans, who were hoping for Diablo 4, felt frustrated. Moreover, media users questioned the general direction the company was taking. The concern was that Activision was pushing Blizzard to a more mobile-oriented strategy. Which, by the way, seems to be just the case. After all, Activision COO Cody Johnson did say “mobile is a top priority for us and we think it’s one of our largest opportunities particularly with our global IP, which we think is really well-positioned to bring to the mobile platform.”
Fans, however, begged to differ. If anything, the reception of Diablo 4 shows that bringing a beloved IP to mobile has the potential of antagonizing the existing fanbase.
According to Brack, Blizzard didn’t stress enough that “we are a PC gaming company and that we’re going to continue to be a PC gaming company.”
“In the last few years, we’ve moved Diablo 3 to console, we’ve moved Overwatch to console, we’ve moved Diablo 3 to Switch. And those have been good things, that I think a lot of people have resonated with. But fundamentally our roots are PC, a strong PC game company, and that’s not going to change.”
Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack
The company has not revealed yet when Diablo Immortal is coming out.
Diablo 4 has been in development since 2016. Blizzard is yet to announce the release date, but the game is likely to be out in 2020 or later.