Beyond the deluge of negativity and palpable disappointment caused by last week’s disastrous announcement at BlizzCon, Diablo Immortal may actually have a silver lining and be a good thing for the franchise, rather a decent game even. Here are 5 reasons why Diablo Immortal isn’t all bad news.
Mobile As An Experiment Rather Than The Future
In the same was that Bethesda dabbled in the mobile sphere with free-to-play Fallout Shelter, Blizzard are doing what companies are made to do; make money. However cynical this driving motivation may be we can’t hold it against Blizzard for wanting to secure financial revenue and in this day and age, the mobile path is among the most lucrative. More people have mobiles than they do consoles or PCs able to run video games comfortably, and it makes sense for Blizzard to tap into that pool of potential players. In many ways, mobile may prove a gateway to the classic PC versions of Diablo for many first timers and with more interest in the next fleshed out release, the more likely Blizzard are to continue making the games we’ve come to expect from the series. If anything, the announcement of Diablo Immortal is a sure fire signal that Blizzard still see the value in the franchise and it hasn’t been overtaken by their other franchises like WoW and Overwatch. Blizzard is testing the waters not defining a rigid commercial road map for the future.
Having to interrupt gaming to complete mundane every tasks like go to work, use the bathroom, or ride the train is the bane of every serious gamer, particularly in the throes of a notably fun play through. With Diablo Immortal, we’ll be able to take a Blizzard quality title on the road with us and this will invariably be miles better than the current crop of mediocre mobile games currently on offer. It’s a small consolation for hardcore Diablo devotees, but at the end of the day it’s more and new adventures in the Diablo universe.
The NetEase Controversy
Part of the upheaval surrounding Diablo Immortal was the accusation floating around that the game was none other than a thinly veiled reskin of developer NetEase’s Crusaders of Light. We have to admit that the similarities are uncanny, but then again Crusaders of Light is an unabashedly Blizzard-esque game with many similarities to World of Warcraft. Accusations of cross pollination can therefore go both ways. Furthermore, NetEase are responsible for bringing WoW proper to the Chinese market, significantly boosting player numbers. There’s a relationship there. Blizzard claim Diablo Immortal is a collaborative effort, but NetEase are for intents and purposes developing the game with some oversight from Blizzard HQ. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because you can do far worse than Crusaders of Light when it comes to mobile gaming. The Hong Kong developer also has a breadth of experience maintaining a mobile game, which is something Blizzard has zero experience doing.
Gameplay Ain’t Bad
Reports from those who’ve had a chance to get their hands on Diablo Immortal are generally pretty favorable, noting it as a true Diablo experience with all the familiar tropes, classes, abilities, and idiosyncratic mechanics. It’s fun, sleek, and feels like Diablo. Add to that the introduction of the MMO angle, which could prove to be one hell of a fun experience given the richness of the Diablo universe.
One Of Many
In the wake of the fiery backlash from the impassioned Diablo community, Diablo Immortal lead designer, Wyatt Cheng, reiterated that the game was among a few Diablo projects currently being worked on. Albeit, announcing it as the last game in Blizzard’s big stage announcement event was likely the wrong move and gave off the wrong impression. But, we have to remember no one has said Diablo 4 isn’t being made, heck there were even rumors (since debunked by Blizzard) that the developer had originally planned to announce the game, but opted otherwise weeks before the conference. Proper Diablo games are on their way, we just have to exercise a little patience.