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Top French Publication Says Diablo 4 Has Been Shown to Blizzard Employees

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Le Monde, one of France's most respected publications, said in a piece published yesterday (full content for subscribers only) about the layoffs at Blizzard Europe and that Diablo 4 was shown to Blizzard employees.

The article focuses mostly on the struggles at Blizzard Europe caused by the process of laying off 30% of the employees, which has apparently not been completed yet. Later in the article, the author starts explaining Blizzard's current situation, with most of its titles reaching the end of their lives or having not performed as expected. The following paragraph then follows about the future of the company.

Quote

Quid de l’avenir ? Les équipes de Blizzard Entertainment ont déjà eu le droit à une présentation du très attendu Diablo 4 et savent qu’un nouveau Overwatch est dans les tuyaux. Mais aucun ne sortira avant 2020, au mieux, et les salariés de Versailles ignorent s’ils en verront la couleur. « Activision Blizzard fera moins de bénéfices, mais fera quand même beaucoup de bénéfices », veut croire un vétéran.

This translates as:

What about the future? Teams at Blizzard Entertainment have already been presented with the long-awaited Diablo 4 and know that a new Overwatch game is in development. But neither of these two games will be released before 2020, at the very best, and employees at Versailles have no idea if they will still be around when they eventually release. « Activision Blizzard will be making less of a profit, but this will still amount to a lot of profit », says a veteran employee.

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It is rather disturbing when you read this article....as a fan and or loyal patron of any franchise you want the company to succeed, flourish, and create exceptional content.  However you also don't want to feel as if the final product you received has been 'slapped together' at the very last moment with a sense of disappointment for waiting on years for it to be released in the first place.

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22 minutes ago, Ragingwolf said:

It is rather disturbing when you read this article....as a fan and or loyal patron of any franchise you want the company to succeed, flourish, and create exceptional content.  However you also don't want to feel as if the final product you received has been 'slapped together' at the very last moment with a sense of disappointment for waiting on years for it to be released in the first place.

Just show blizz the freefolk sub on reddit to show what awaits for a hyped project with a disappointing end...

 

They could look at Blizz related threads too but that ones salty enough. (I agree, S8 was a rubbish ending, but no amount of moaning will fix that or make them redo it...)

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40 minutes ago, Ragingwolf said:

It is rather disturbing when you read this article....as a fan and or loyal patron of any franchise you want the company to succeed, flourish, and create exceptional content.  However you also don't want to feel as if the final product you received has been 'slapped together' at the very last moment with a sense of disappointment for waiting on years for it to be released in the first place.

Moral of the story: people refuse to be content.

*shrug*

 

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Blizzard used to wait years past the original "expected release date".     They held to the "wait until it's ready" in the face of everything.

And it worked.     Quality products take time and testing.  The moment they began trying to meet deadlines no matter the readiness or testing state of the product is when the real Blizzard Entertainment died.   

Edited by Migol
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was there any more information about how D4 looks like or what kind of systems (like for skills, attributes etc) it uses or the itemization it has?

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7 minutes ago, clueso said:

was there any more information about how D4 looks like or what kind of systems (like for skills, attributes etc) it uses or the itemization it has?

Sure not. But one can easily speculate that if Diablo 4 exists and will survive enough to be released, it will surely be cross-platform and will have microtransactions.

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1 hour ago, Ragingwolf said:

It is rather disturbing when you read this article....as a fan and or loyal patron of any franchise you want the company to succeed, flourish, and create exceptional content.  However you also don't want to feel as if the final product you received has been 'slapped together' at the very last moment with a sense of disappointment for waiting on years for it to be released in the first place.

What's more interesting is why they keep Diablo 4 still as a secret. It's important to note that they never officially named this "Diablo project" as "4". Perhaps it has something to do with them testing games from different genres. Apparently there were some cancelled projects, which makes me wonder if new Diablo is really the 4th, straight continuation and more of the same, or something else.

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It almost has to be a continuation as Diablo 3 left off storywise with Tyrion almost anointing the Nephalim as the new threat.

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4 hours ago, Migol said:

It almost has to be a continuation as Diablo 3 left off storywise with Tyrion almost anointing the Nephalim as the new threat.

But if us (the nephalem) have transcended to a power level matching archangels and prime evils (effectively the most powerful beings of the Diablo Universe), who can stop him/her? 

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44 minutes ago, VirgilvanDijk said:

Meh, not bothered by any ill Diablo 4 news. PoE is great and Baldur's Gate 4 is in the making.

Yet bothered enough to leave this comment. Anyway, I seriously doubt anyone is too excited for Diablo 4. If game releases of the past few years have taught us anything - that is not to get hyped by anything and expect at least playability.

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14 hours ago, Migol said:

Blizzard used to wait years past the original "expected release date". They held to the "wait until it's ready" in the face of everything.

And it worked. Quality products take time and testing.  The moment they began trying to meet deadlines no matter the readiness or testing state of the product is when the real Blizzard Entertainment died.   

Used to? Reports say they recently canceled a Starcraft FPS Shooter and completely rebooted Diablo 4 in 2016. Even Diablo: Immortal is taking longer to release than they initially anticipated. They're still shipping games when they're ready, or not at all.

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15 hours ago, Migol said:

Blizzard used to wait years past the original "expected release date".     They held to the "wait until it's ready" in the face of everything.

And it worked.     Quality products take time and testing.  The moment they began trying to meet deadlines no matter the readiness or testing state of the product is when the real Blizzard Entertainment died.   

They still don't hold onto deadlines and do as they used to. Diablo Immortal is delayed, other projects canceled. And the WarCraft 3 Reforged Beta, which was supposed to come during spring time, also got delayed.

IMHO the problem is the mix of two things. 
High demands from a community who just complains and is never thankful.
And the high popularity and quality of previous games which is always hard to surpass.

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3 minutes ago, Alkasar said:

They still don't hold onto deadlines and do as they used to. Diablo Immortal is delayed, other projects canceled. And the WarCraft 3 Reforged Beta, which was supposed to come during spring time, also got delayed.

IMHO the problem is the mix of two things. 
High demands from a community who just complains and is never thankful.
And the high popularity and quality of previous games which is always hard to surpass.

Although W3 Reforged is slated to release no later than end of december 2019, so they have to keep this date, since pre-orders are being sold (I think it makes them obliged to do so by law, they were never late in similar cases with WoW expansions).

Demands from community matter, but not as much when making decisions. People active on forums don't always represent what will sell. Best quite recent example was a backlash against void elf race on forums, yet by statistics they are the most played allied race on Alliance, surpassing even some vanilla ones. If "community" is to be believed, almost no one should be playing them.

Another issue is that they are trying to capitalise on current gold rush, whatever genre/mechanics are popular these days. That's why we are not going to see another RTS, "good enough" numbers are not good for company and it's share holders. They are aiming at numbers similar to top games like Fortnite as much as possible. In Blizzard's case, it's also Overwatch's "fault", when it exploded during first year, so this sets high expectations in the company, what should be considered successful. 

As for Diablo, there is going to be backlash anyway, especially from those hating on Diablo 3. Those who are expecting Diablo 2 with better graphics (because, according to them, Diablo 3 "failed"), are going to be disappointed and will keep complaining anyway.

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4 minutes ago, Arcling said:

As for Diablo, there is going to be backlash anyway, especially from those hating on Diablo 3. Those who are expecting Diablo 2 with better graphics (because, according to them, Diablo 3 "failed"), are going to be disappointed and will keep complaining anyway.

True. I have a friend who's really into Vanilla WoW and he's always into some new drama about WoW Classic being different and not what he wants. This is just neverending. It's actually funny since you brought up Fortnite. Fortnite Reddit was always incredibly whiny and bitchy about pretty much everything, and sometimes good new ideas from devs got buried or implemented but then removed only because the devs were listening to the most active minority they would abandon their own game design philosophy to fit.

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19 hours ago, Migol said:

It almost has to be a continuation as Diablo 3 left off storywise with Tyrion almost anointing the Nephalim as the new threat.

Wait, when did I miss the Nephalem trying to take Casterly Rock and Red Keep?

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18 hours ago, Alkasar said:

IMHO the problem is the mix of two things. 
High demands from a community who just complains and is never thankful.
And the high popularity and quality of previous games which is always hard to surpass.

YES, the community is at fault.

Like with Anthem!

It's only the community who isn't greatful that they are allowed to pay money. No, they even demand a good game in return.

How dare they???

"Give us your money and shut up"

 

Yes, there is a lot of complains, especially about formerly great companies like Bioware and Blizzard.

But why is this? Because the community is ungrateful? No. Because they expect games to be decent.

Blizzard-games still work great in the technical aspect. Gameflow is good, I've never played a Hack and Slay that can even remotely compare to Diablo in how fights / skills feel.
Starcraft 2 has very good gameplay.

However, technic is just one part of a game. Another one is the story. Storytelling, characters, dialogue, atmosphere.

And here Blizzard fails horribly. The games are empty shells.
And the marketing department of Blizzrd should all be fired. How they handle every new thing in the last years is beyond description. They pump up bullshit and sell it to you like it is the greatest inventory ever. Diablo is the best example. Since years they talk big, how important Diablo is. What big projects they have. And then we get Darkening of Tristram. Which would MAY be acceptable if it would be a fan-made modification. Then we get Blizzcon and Diablo Immoral.
Hearthstone. They talk about the new solo adventure. How awesome it will be. How many possibilities. And as soon as you play it you realize: Absolutly no story, the possibilities are mathematically correct, but have next to no influence to your gameplay, bosses get repeated over and over and over again. And after wing 3 you have seen everything the adventure has to offer. More then once. More like thrice.
And you could spent 20 bucks for this!

Bioware has reached a point in which nothing is done well. Story is non existend or horrible. Gameplay is buggy and bad. In fact Anthem isn't even a "real" game, it is more like a beta with at least 50% of the content still missing. Sold for full price.


That's why the community - at least part of the community - is not satisfied. With Bioware most are unhappy. With Blizzard it is a little better.

 

If you take a look at companies that make great games you will realize that good work is received warmly by the community.

The Witcher 3 was an outstanding project. The game was awesome and both expansions were brilliant. Gamelay was good (however, personally I would have preferred a smaller world) AND the storytelling was fantastic. Great characters, important decisions, hard decisions.

XCOM - the new games in this franchise were fantastic and a new reference for turn-based strategy. Again, both games got great expansions. Not a cheap money-grab, no, there was a lot it added to the game.
Personally I preferred the first game, it was more difficult and you had much more of a feeling: *filtered*, I need much more money, because I need new weapons for my soldiers. I need to build my base. I need more fightercrafts. More, more, more. And money was always short.  The second game had this feeling way less. Still, it was a really good game.

Did the community whine about those games? Did it complain? No. Because the games were great.

 

Or look at smaller games like The Banner Saga. For less money then you could buy the horribly boring new hearthstone Adventure you can buy the first part of the Banner Saga. A fantastic game with great story and characters. The fighting-system is interesting, however in some aspects not absolutly perfect. But the world is so rich, it is so interesting and some moments can be heart-breaking.
Compared to that you just get *filtered* from Blizzard.

 

But yeah, it is only the community who is at fault. Sure...

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23 hours ago, WedgeAntilles said:

Yes, there is a lot of complains, especially about formerly great companies like Bioware and Blizzard.

Blizzard made the best games when they just did their thing. We didnt ask for Diablo 2 or Warcraft 2, they just made them. Pretty much like Nintendo still does it today and makes good games.

But these days not even Warcraft Reforged gets positive feedback. Nothing. It is just "Fix this.", "Change that", "You suck". And these senseless comments and feedbacks made WoW and Diablo3 into what they are. The major changes in those games started with demands on the Forums. Blizzards biggest mistake is that they listen too much, and the community has just become more toxic than the LoL community. Criticism is alright. But not what happens right now.

Edited by Alkasar

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5 hours ago, Alkasar said:

Blizzard made the best games when they just did their thing. We didnt ask for Diablo 2 or Warcraft 2, they just made them. Pretty much like Nintendo still does it today and makes good games.

WoW and D3 did a lot of things that were against the "community" (BfA still does). Hence why some praise Diablo 2. Nintendo... barely exists in many countries (I know, it must sound strange for people from these console-centric countries), especially those where PC is the dominant platform, so overall global community is smaller and less attention is being paid to it. Diablo 2 was released in a very different time, so you can't really compare it with modern games. Most people back then didn't have internet, so memories of it will always be better, as there was no influence from other people's opinions, whatever opinions existed, were heavily localized.

Edited by Arcling

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7 hours ago, Alkasar said:

Blizzard made the best games when they just did their thing. We didnt ask for Diablo 2 or Warcraft 2, they just made them. Pretty much like Nintendo still does it today and makes good games.

But these days not even Warcraft Reforged gets positive feedback. Nothing. It is just "Fix this.", "Change that", "You suck". And these senseless comments and feedbacks made WoW and Diablo3 into what they are. The major changes in those games started with demands on the Forums. Blizzards biggest mistake is that they listen too much, and the community has just become more toxic than the LoL community. Criticism is alright. But not what happens right now.

I am not with you.

Ok, maybe I do not spent enough time with "community" (whatever that is), but I am quite sure the community didn't ask for real-money auction house. Or no quests (remember some of the great side-quests in Diablo 2? Tower of the Baroness in Act 1 e.g.? Or some interesting quest-rewards?). Or a story that is to "fremdschämen" since act 3?

That were some big points - and the horrible story btw is why I discouraged several friends from buying Diablo 3. Personally I played it a lot, because the combat-mechanic works great. But if you are not that into hack and slay and you want a game with good story and awesome atomsphere - then Diablo 3 is just horrible.

In other parts I do not get the critic, I am with you there. The possibilities to change skills is a MUST HAVE IMO. I do not get the crying in this.

But if you take a look at the last 3 years: the Darkening of Tristram Event, Blizzcon 2018 - are you really surprised about the rage?

 

Never played WoW, can't say anything about it.

 

Blizzard games just lack what they had in earlier years. Heart and soul. They are only a polished shiny big of nothing. But at least the game-meachanics still work great. That's much more then can be said about Bioware e.g. That's why I'd still rate Blizzard as maybe 5 or even 6 from 10. But that's a long fall from 9 or even 10 out of 10.

 

And please do not say that this is just because "everything was better earlier on" - I named several games from the last years that are awesome. Some of them from small companies. Or even free to play!

X Com. The Witcher. LIfe is Strange. The Banner Saga. Doki Doki Literature Club (absolutly amazing!). Gone Home. This war of mine.

There are still lots of games that are awesome. That touch you deeply emotional. That are amazing. That are "perfect".

But those games are not from Ubisoft, EA, Bioware. Or from Blizzard. And 15 years ago if you made of list of amazing games nearly everyone had games from Lucas Arts, Blizzard and / or Bioware in this list. That you can now make a list of the best 20 games in the last 5 years and there isn't a single game from those companies - that makes me sad and sometimes angry.

Edited by Guest

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13 hours ago, WedgeAntilles said:

And please do not say that this is just because "everything was better earlier on" - I named several games from the last years that are awesome. Some of them from small companies. Or even free to play!

X Com. The Witcher. LIfe is Strange. The Banner Saga. Doki Doki Literature Club (absolutly amazing!). Gone Home. This war of mine.

There are still lots of games that are awesome. That touch you deeply emotional. That are amazing. That are "perfect".

But those games are not from Ubisoft, EA, Bioware. Or from Blizzard. And 15 years ago if you made of list of amazing games nearly everyone had games from Lucas Arts, Blizzard and / or Bioware in this list. That you can now make a list of the best 20 games in the last 5 years and there isn't a single game from those companies - that makes me sad and sometimes angry.

I have played computer games for so many years. (Do not guess my age - but there was no screen on the first computer I tried . And you had to use carboard cards with holes in them to input the program).

X Com. The Wicher and "This war of mine" are so full of stories. Have played them again and again.

Loved Heroes. Hated what Ubisoft did with the series in the end. Loved EAs Genarals (and Red Alert and Command & Conquer) (lets not discuss EA)

Really loved Total Annihilation from Cave Dog. (Actually also like Ubers Planetary Annihilation)

Really really love Dawn of War (still play the Ultimate Apocalypse Mod)

All these games have story AND game play. (PA is a bit low on story :-))

Some of the first versions of them are from a time when you needed to carry 150 kg of computer hardware to a single location and use 2 - 3 hours to connect them together to get 6 people to play in network.

 

Now you can play Heartstone on your mobile while riding the train. And have just as much fun.

I am happy that there still are companies that make AAA games that are "fantastic" games for people like me.

But as WedgeAntilles says it is not the same companies any more. Most of the big ones do not target people like me.

I believe Blizzard makes god games. Some of them I like a lot some of them not so much. Some of them I like for the story (Starcraft I and II). Some for the gameplay  - Sorry but I keep comming back to Heartstone. I find it too addictive - even if Blizzard manipulate the meta with nerfs to make more money - oh sorry - was that a standard community remark? 🙂 

I pay for those of Blizzards games I find good. If Blizzard do not make money (yes - I know they make good money)  they have no reason to make more of the same type of games.

But I am affraid that when King can make so many money on Candy Crush. It makes less sense for Blizzard to invest programming time in good stories. There are so many people with mobile phones

But I do hope they will continue with the stories.     

    

Edited by PanPan

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On 6/22/2019 at 6:36 AM, Stan said:

Used to? Reports say they recently canceled a Starcraft FPS Shooter and completely rebooted Diablo 4 in 2016. Even Diablo: Immortal is taking longer to release than they initially anticipated. They're still shipping games when they're ready, or not at all.

You say that, but they're trying to get WoW expansions and various games preordered with a qualifying "To be released on or before _____".      And boy howdee, some of those have -not- been well received, BFA is just the clearest example to date.    

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11 hours ago, PanPan said:

Loved Heroes. Hated what Ubisoft did with the series in the end. Loved EAs Genarals (and Red Alert and Command & Conquer) (lets not discuss EA)

 

Oh yeah, Heroes 5 was such an awesome game! Both AddOns were great too and I played them three times.

I was excited about Heroes 6, but what a disappointment. Story wasn't even bad and some of the Dynasty-features were fun - but WHY did they have to destroy the AI completly? Sure, AI in Heroes was never great. But it was good enough to have fun with it.

In Heroes 6 I had several huge battles (laying siege to a town) - with the enemy outnumbering me drastically. But I had more ranged units. And the AI just did nothing with the melee units. After 2 rounds I had eleminated his ranged units - and the enemy just waited behind the walls until he was destroyed 20 turns later.

The AddOn I bought for 5? bucks or something like that. Whole Heroes 6 was such a disappointment after Heroes 5.

And Heroes 7? After Heroes 6 I was sceptical - and unfortunatly completly right. Bug disaster. Boring game. I played it 2? years later, after I got it as full version (without add on) from a computer magazine.

From buying the full price + 2 full price add ons (heroes 5) I decended to full price + extremly cheap add on + didn't bother to buy it at all (Heroes 7).

They completly *filtered* a franchise that made several sucessfull games that had a good, caring and enthusiastic community. (Sure, it was never a game that made several hundred millions - but it netted the developers some good money.)

 

And C&C is a crime too. I loved the first C&C, it was a revolution for RTS. Before you played Dune 2 - which was a good game, don't get me wrong. But you had to select each unit, you had no mechanic to select more then one unit....

C&C was a very interesting setting, great story and interesting characters. Great cut-scenes too. Still remember the one on an GDI Carrier and a reporter tells about the GDI flying attacks against Nod. Awesome.

Over the years there were some really good games, some quite "insane" games (like Red Alert) that were "crazy" but very fun to play.

And C&C Generals established a new setting. Not the crazy Red Alert, not GDI vs NOD but a more realistic terror-setting.

A great game. And the last C&C game that was high quality.

Everything that came later got worse and worse. Cain had be an interesting character, in C&C 3 he became a laughing stock. They completly forgot how to tell a story, how to make the story interesting and not something you pity. Similar to Blizzard.

And today? C&C is dead, sucessfully killed.

Maybe it will be revived someday. May hopes are very slow.

 

Like I said: It makes me said. And angry.

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On 6/22/2019 at 11:48 AM, Kuarinofu said:

Yet bothered enough to leave this comment. Anyway, I seriously doubt anyone is too excited for Diablo 4. If game releases of the past few years have taught us anything - that is not to get hyped by anything and expect at least playability.

Your first sentence makes little sense to me. You presume that I do not care about the diablo franchise which is not true. Anyway, there are potential grounds to get excited if they actually listen to the community and deliver a game with good lore and mechanics closer to the original games. They certainly have examples of the same genre that puts smiles on peoples faces. Nobody wants Diablo 4 to be a Diablo 3 clone with prettier graphics. Now we wait and enjoy the fruits of other developers that seem to spark excitement. Blizzard can turn this around, but we will have to see how it pans out.

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    • By Starym
      It seems David Kim is the Jack of all trades in Blizzard, as he's once again moved to a new franchise within the company! The Diablo 4 Lead Systems Designer, who was very front and center at the BlizzCon D4 announcement, has moved to the position of Principal Game Designer for World of Warcraft:

      As you can see from the above, Kim has been moving around a lot, with his longest stint coming from StarCraft 2, where he started at Blizzard back in 2007, jumping in to Heroes of the Storm, back to SC2 and then Diablo 4 most recently.
      On the D4 side of things, we're not quite sure what this means, as it seems unlikely the job was "done" and so Kim could move on, and it's a lot more likely he was needed in WoW due to Shadowlands crunch (as he started the job back in September), since it was all hands on deck to get the expansion out the door. It seems likely that Kim will stay in WoW for a while at least, and it's unclear if he'll be returning to Diablo, which doesn't seem like a good thing for the 4th installment, but as it's still a long way away, it might not be that big of an issue. As spotted by Rhykker, his replacement on the D4 team seems to be  Joe Piepiora, who was promoted from within the D4 team.
      On the WoW side of things, some players have been complaining about the game having moved towards Diablo systems in the past, with World Quests and especially the RNG nature of loot, so they might not be too happy with this particular move, but Kim has been very good at balance, coming from a very heavy StarCraft background. The Principal Game Designer job title itself means working on the core systems, and if we had to hazard a guess, we'd say classes and their balancing, whether via gear or other systems, might be one of Kim's focuses.
      Source.
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