After a week of nonstop complaints, memes, and the other usual components to angry internet reactions, Blizzard’s president J. Allen Brack has finally spoken out about the Diablo Immortal controversy.
During an earnings call, Brack had some choice words for the terrible fan reaction towards the mobile game announcement. In short, he felt that the anger was actually a positive sign for the company, indicating just how strong the community feels towards the Diablo series. He also made sure to note that contrary to the popular belief, Diablo Immortal will be a very authentic Diablo game – it will continue to uphold the high quality standards associated with other Blizzard games, despite the fact that it is both a mobile title and not a 100% Blizzard developed game.
Here are his exact words:
“We’ve seen some interesting reaction to the announcement. I think it’s clear there’s a lot of players who are eager for more Diablo PC and console content. That came through loud and clear from BlizzCon. Frankly, we feel fortunate to have a community that cares so much about that franchise. The commitment and the engagement of our community is one of the things that makes Blizzard very special and something that we really appreciate.”
“We like to hear the things that the fans articulate as to what they want to hear next, and what we can do better, frankly. Diablo is an important, tentpole franchise for Blizzard. One of the things that we’ve said is we have multiple teams working on multiple different projects for the Diablo community.”
“We feel that Diablo Immortal is going to deliver a very authentic Diablo experience, and we’re not going to compromise on that mission. Launching the game is only going to be the beginning. There’s going to be ongoing support. We’re only going to release the game when we feel like it is meeting the community’s very high standards. In the end, Diablo Immortal is going to fulfill that, and we think that people are going to experience it, and we think they’re going to love it.”
Brack then went on to note that the opportunities present in the Chinese mobile game market are just too vast for them to ignore.
“Mobile is the biggest platform in gaming today. And taking a game like Diablo onto that platform in a way that is really reflecting our quality standards, I think can open that franchise and other franchises to a global audience, including people who don’t have PCs. Or especially in China where Blizzard is a very, very strong western brand. Regarding the timing, that’s something that we’ll talk about as we go forward. It’s very important that we release the game, and it’s an excellent experience when it is released.”
Given the predatory monetization strategies that many mobile games adopt, rife with microtransactions and endless paywalls, it’s easy to understand fan skepticism regarding the so-called “authenticity” of Diablo Immortal. With the monstrous backlash from the announcement of the title, it will be interesting to see whether or not Blizzard makes any tweaks to the game to avoid generating any further fan ire.
Ultimately, we’ll probably never know if the game we get was in any way affected by the controversy. All we can do is speculate. Considering that the game has no definitive release date, Blizzard has all the time in the world to adjust the game to make sure it meets both their standards as well as fan expectations. Let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint.
Featured Image Source: AndroidPolice