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Starym

All Blizzard Franchises Will Have Mobile Titles

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The very controversial announcement of Diablo Immortal is still what everyone's talking about after BlizzCon has concluded, with fans of the franchise getting pretty upset. From a bunch of "Do you guys not have phones?" memes, to the off-season April fools Q&A guy, and accusations of the game simply being a reskin of another mobile hack 'n slash made by Netease, Blizzard's partner in development, it seems the decision to make Immortal the big finish for BlizzCon's opening ceremony wasn't that great. And all of that is not even going into some pretty poor PR moves after the fact, such as re-posting the cinematic and making it unlisted due to the huge number of dislikes the public one has and using the unlisted one on the official site.

It's safe to say Immortal was "a bit" of a misstep, at the very least in the way it was announced, but Blizzard don't seem to be backing down from their newfound mobile-friendly attitude, as co-founder Allen Adham mentioned in an interview with Digital Trends, where he had this to say when asked how long Immortal has been on Blizzard's minds:

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Yea, so a few years ago with Hearthstone, it was designed originally for desktop, but as a happy sort of coincidence it worked well for mobile. That opened our eyes to a broader opportunity. Then it’s just been a question of surfacing the teams and resources and designs to make this happen.

I can say, without getting overly specific, that we have big plans for the mobile space. It’s a big initiative for us across Blizzard, and you can expect to see more mobile titles from us spanning all of our IPs at some point in the future.

- Allen Adham, Blizzard Co-Founder and Executive Producer of Incubation

In the same interview he also went on to reassure Diablo fans that there are indeed multiple projects being worked on in the franchise, but was also very careful to dance around the specific issue of Diablo 4 proper.

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How’d you expect your playerbase to react? Were you prepared for the backlash?

I can take this one. We’ve been talking about this one a lot, more intensely over the past few months as we approached Blizzcon. We knew our audience coming here because we’re very engaged with our community. We knew they were expecting to see something in particular.

Diablo 4?

That’s right. So we tried to get ahead of that expectation a few weeks ago, we put out a blog post a few weeks ago. What we said was we have multiple Diablo teams working on multiple projects. We want them to know this isn’t instead of other things we’re doing, and in fact we’re doing a lot, and this is additive. We hoped that would allay concerns, but we knew despite that our most engaged, most passionate fans and players here at this show would only be satisfied with one thing.

I can say to them, we have not forgotten you. We’ll have more news to share at some point in the future. We’re also hardcore Diablo PC and console fans. Diablo is a tentpole franchise at Blizzard and we continue to work on many things in the Diablo franchise.

The full interview also features Production Director for Diablo Immortal and Incubation Dan Elggren and has more details on the game itself, as well as what fears and expectations Blizzard had for this move and fan reactions after the announcement, so it's absolutely worth a read.

 

So, what do you guys think about the possibility of all Blizzard franchises getting their own mobile games/spinoffs? Were you upset by Diablo Immortal or all the side-shenanigans surrounding it?

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Personally I don't care about mobile games, I don't play them, but I don't mind them existing either. I do have a moral problem with the business model a lot of them use however. Still so long as they keep making content in other spaces, such as PC, I'll be happy.

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1st deliver to core audience, then do mobile as a bonus/side project. Modern mobile audience is too elusive to catch, so diving in there deeper will only cause more controversy.

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I removed a part of the opening paragraph about the removed comments and dislikes, since it's not really confirmable, but I'll repost it here in case anyone's interested. Since it's just speculation I didn't feel it was right to keep in the intro.

...removing/muting a lot of comments on the game's videos (and later bringing them back after fan backlash) and allegedly even removing 100,000 dislikes from the original video itself.

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It isn't mobile that people are upset over. It is mobile ONLY. They can make WoW into an app if they want but you better serve your core audience, PC Gamers, if you want to stay in business.

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As someone who grew up on Blizzard North's D1 and D2, and came to be fond of the miss fit child known as D3. Yes, I was thoroughly disappointed. I've defended D3 in every conceivable way ever since RoS was introduced followed by major patches and updates. But after this, I'm finding it difficult to defend Blizzard on this. Especially since they are actually deleting comments, un-listing the video, deleting dislikes etc. It's really childish, and while I can understand that the internet trolls are so cancerous, they knew what was coming. So why make your company appear even more foolish in trying to rid the negativity towards a project that no die hard Diablo fan wants to play? (Except for the small minority)

Ok, I get it. There's big money in Mobile gaming. And while I really don't care about it, it's a good business move on their part. However, it was a terrible idea to just present this by itself. I have seen many fair criticisms that they should have spoken about the other projects in liue of "Immortal". Bethesda went this route when they announced their mobile elder scrolls game, but proceeded to show a short screen cap that proved Elder Scrolls 6 is very well in the works. If Blizzard were to take a similar route, they probably wouldn't have received the major backlash they are currently receiving now.  But what's been done, is done.

I'm not mad, just disappointed by their decision on this. Hopefully, this was a lesson well learned, because the fan base of Diablo have been getting the short end of the stick for the past several years. And this annoucement is definite proof of it.

 

Edited by Rhondis
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The only mobile game Blizzard should focus on, is Hearthstone, because that kind of game works well on phones. ARPG's does not, as using touch controls like that is a pain in the rear, qmong a ton of other annoyances, where most noticeably the point about micro-transactions were completely avoided by them, even though it's obvious the game will be riddled with that.

If Blizzard wanna make more of their IP's playable on the go, focus on porting to the Switch. That's a machine designed for this sorta thing. A phone is not.

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Some games translates well to mobile devices. Point and click games like the Blackwell series, HS. I have yet to try an AARPG on mobile devices, and I have to say I think I prefer A mouse and keyboard as my platform for such games. I can hardly blame Blizzard for trying to make money on their games, as long as they are doing it Pay2Win  or .99 [insert currency] to spawn or shorten a wait time I am good. Why they havent made a D3 shop with vanity items is beyond me. Seems to generate some cash for WoW and Overwatch.

Whats the name of the chinese clone they are using?

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1 hour ago, Starym said:

I removed a part of the opening paragraph about the removed comments and dislikes, since it's not really confirmable, but I'll repost it here in case anyone's interested. Since it's just speculation I didn't feel it was right to keep in the intro.

...removing/muting a lot of comments on the game's videos (and later bringing them back after fan backlash) and allegedly even removing 100,000 dislikes from the original video itself.

Are you sure about that? 

 

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7 minutes ago, Frostbeard said:

Some games translates well to mobile devices. Point and click games like the Blackwell series, HS. I have yet to try an AARPG on mobile devices, and I have to say I think I prefer A mouse and keyboard as my platform for such games. I can hardly blame Blizzard for trying to make money on their games, as long as they are doing it Pay2Win  or .99 [insert currency] to spawn or shorten a wait time I am good. Why they havent made a D3 shop with vanity items is beyond me. Seems to generate some cash for WoW and Overwatch.

Whats the name of the chinese clone they are using?

Crusaders of Light, but apparently there are others as well. Most of those mobile ARPGs are basically the same game.

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I used to play HS almost only on mobile, until I discovered deck trackers. And still, I would prefer the tablet's touch control, only that my tablet doesn't support HS anymore, as the app has become bigger and heavier.

I like if Blizzard give us more things, but I hope they won't become too much of a money cow. Mobile games needs to be cheap/free to work well, imho.

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I love the ******s defending Blizz on this and calling people who complain "entitled". It's not like people payed hundreds of dollars for a franchise that didn't get any content in over half a decade, only to get the finger with this crap. Good on the Red Shirt guy and others for calling them out on it

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5 minutes ago, Dejo93 said:

Are you sure about that? 

 

I mean, personally I believe it is true, but like I said, not really a way to absolutely confirm it. Although that video you posted is a bit of an overreaction, the phones line was more like a nervous joke cos the devs were SUUUPER uncomfortable being there shilling for a product they know isn't for the audience they're talking to.

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Deadset is flying back from the US today and he's got a lot to say on Diablo Immortal. He had a lengthy interview with the devs and spent a whole evening with them. I'm really interested to see what he has to say.

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3 minutes ago, Damien said:

Deadset is flying back from the US today and he's got a lot to say on Diablo Immortal. He had a lengthy interview with the devs and spent a whole evening with them. I'm really interested to see what he has to say.

I've read the actual game is pretty good in terms of mobile ARPGs, but yea I wonder how he feels.

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3 minutes ago, Raffalius said:

I dont even play Diablo, but even i was frustrated over how they treat theire fanbase ^^

"You want D4?"

"Fuck you, here's Mobile" XD

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10 minutes ago, Dejo93 said:

Are you sure about that? 

 

The problem with this video is that it's just guess work based on some observations. The reason why I had Starym tone down his first paragraph is that there is no evidence that Blizzard did indeed instruct YouTube to remove dislikes. And why would they even do that? Even if you remove 100k downvotes, you're still left with a massively downvoted video, but have extra bad press to deal with.

The fact is that we don't know why the downvotes have been fluctuating. So, we can speculate, but this video you're sharing is not speculating. They're presenting stuff as if it's the truth.

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That clown completely missed the point - we're not pissed only because there will be Diablo Mobile. We were pissed because THAT WAS THE ONLY DIABLO RELATED ANNOUNCEMENT AT BLIZZCON. They didn't even bothered to say something like "Yeah we are working an a few Diablo titles including Diablo 2 Remaster and Diablo 4 but we are not ready to show them yet. As for now we have only this Diablo game for mobile devices but don't worry mates - we are working on the really good stuff". They just said "Here's Diablo Immortal, have fun, kay bye". Those people are nowhere near their community and don't want to hear what thier fans what but rather what their INVESTORS want.

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I can understand why people are upset that they "just" announced a mobile title, after hyping up. (even after trying to lower our expectations, they always mentioned "multiple" projects, and then still announced only one that the least of the blizzcon visitors want).

But what i cant understand is all the hate people give the game already, or comparing it to other arpgs, like the previous netease title. None of Blizzards games were the only of its kind... But what blizzard does is excellent gameplay. I am not much of a mobile gamer myself, especially not with arpgs on  the phone. But if someone is to create THE mobile arpg, it will be blizzard. I think it can work out. 🙂

It was just a very sad presentation :'/

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3 minutes ago, Lawrenz said:

But what i cant understand is all the hate people give the game already, or comparing it to other arpgs, like the previous netease title. None of Blizzards games were the only of its kind... But what blizzard does is excellent gameplay. I am not much of a mobile gamer myself, especially not with arpgs on  the phone. But if someone is to create THE mobile arpg, it will be blizzard. I think it can work out. 🙂

It's not made by Blizzard. Diablo Immortal is made by the chinese mobile games developer who uses the same UI, same gameplay mechanics and same graphics in every single one of their games. The only thing that changes is the title alongside with character skins. So no, it won't work out.

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6 minutes ago, Lawrenz said:

I can understand why people are upset that they "just" announced a mobile title, after hyping up. (even after trying to lower our expectations, they always mentioned "multiple" projects, and then still announced only one that the least of the blizzcon visitors want).

But what i cant understand is all the hate people give the game already, or comparing it to other arpgs, like the previous netease title. None of Blizzards games were the only of its kind... But what blizzard does is excellent gameplay. I am not much of a mobile gamer myself, especially not with arpgs on  the phone. But if someone is to create THE mobile arpg, it will be blizzard. I think it can work out. 🙂

It was just a very sad presentation :'/

While you're right about the ultimate arpg on mobile and blizzard, unfortunately blizzard are NOT developing this particular game. They're just handing over art and assets and looking over Netease's work/reskinning of their previous game(s).

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8 minutes ago, Steveson said:

It's not made by Blizzard. Diablo Immortal is made by the chinese mobile games developer who uses the same UI, same gameplay mechanics and same graphics in every single one of their games. The only thing that changes is the title alongside with character skins. So no, it won't work out.

Wait for Deadset's article, it should shed a lot of light on that. He's flying back from BlizzCon today.

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22 minutes ago, Dejo93 said:

It's not like people payed hundreds of dollars for a franchise that didn't get any content in over half a decade

The necromancer came out last year, didn't it? And it has barely been half a decade since Reaper of Souls.

Also, I don't know where this idea comes from that because you bought the base game they should shovel out content till the end of time. Back in the good old days (you know, before Activision poisoned our water supply, burned our crops, and delivered a plague unto our houses) you bought a game, and maybe an expansion, and that was it. And now that's somehow a bad thing?

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