For Blizzard Entertainment, Diablo's dust-up over the announcement of the mobile game: Immortal came at a bad time. Our review editor Mike Minotti what's up at the BlizzCon fan event, where Blizzard cofounder Mike Morhaime went onstage for the last time to introduce J. Allen Brack to the new president.
Brack's warm introduction by Morhaime was meant to convey continuity and confidence in the future. World of Warcraft, Blizzard's biggest game, Brack was the longtime producer of World of Warcraft. Blizzard closed the show with no mention of an upcoming Diablo PC / console game. Instead, it showed Diablo: Immortal.
It's an out-of-season April Fool's joke? "
It's a bit of a stain on Brack's first real interaction with fans as president of the legendary, fan-centric, quality-driven game company.
The hardcore fans who traveled to BlizzCon to hear about the next installment of Diablo were dumbfounded. Had Blizzard sold them out, opting to build instead a crappy mobile game that could monetize with greedy little microtransactions? That reaction had so much fear in it, and Blizzard had ever faced from his previous adoring fans.
Speculation quickly surfaced to feed this meme, as fans said the game was a resume of a NetEase Diablo or that NetEase was making the game and not Blizzard. A negative fan reaction started spreading, and the Diablo: Immortal trailer on YouTube had 560,000 dislikes to 21,000 likes. In turn, Blizzard's stock has slipped because of the fan outrage, […]
Then Kotaku reported on Monday, incorrectly according to Blizzard, that Blizzard cofounder Allen Adham had prepared a video of Diablo 4 and then yanked it at the last minute, leaving only the mobile game announcement. Kotaku backtracked, saying the video existed but it may have never been done at BlizzCon.
In issuing its denial about the Diablo 4 story, Blizzard was contrite, which screwed up the announcement ,
"First off we want to mention that we hear it," the company said , To reassure fans, it added, "We do not have any more teams working on multiple unannounced Diablo projects, and we're looking forward to announcing when the time is right."
Electronic Arts felt the same backlash when it announced a new command
The gamer outrage got more childling as the offended gamers accused game journalists of piling in on them and labeling them " entitled gamers. "They felt that the game journalists were in sync with the fans, but instead they were defending the company's dumb move. (One game journalist agreed with the gamers, saying the game journalists were wrong).
Disappointed that @deantak joins the tired "entitled gamers" chorus. https://t.co/JQ1maUO9cq
– Brad Glasgow (@Brad_Glasgow) November 6, 2018
Mobile game crimes
We should stop here and note that it is not a crime of betrayal to create a mobile game. Mobile games reach out against audiences, and they serve the purpose of bringing non-gamers into the fold. Mobile games are also a $ 70 billion business, or about half of the total $ 139 billion game market. It is foolish not to make mobile games, as all of the major video game companies have realized. Why? Since big mobile hits can generate huge revenues, [http://www.soundmobilehounds.com/]they have made more than just PC or console games.
It's no surprise, then, that Diablo: Immortal could be announced and come out of a PC version of Diablo 4 gets announced. So, for some reason, angry gamers assumed that Blizzard was not working on a PC-based Diablo game, and that they were getting a crappy mobile game instead.
Here's the thing. If Blizzard made a good mobile game, it could have been Supercell does with Clash Royale or does Niantic does with Pokemon Go. And it could make that money to make all the PC games that it wants. (I've run this theory by Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick, and he did not agree).
The negative reaction was built on another misconception: Real gamers do not play mobile games. In fact, mobile games are becoming more and more popular among hardcore gamers. Razer is targeting its Razer Phone 2 at hardcore fans.
Then we have this myth that blizzard gamers do not like mobile games, especially those microtransactiony free-to-play games. Uh, hello? Blizzard's Hearthstone, which has been played over 100 times, both on the PC and mobile. Diablo Immortal
Blizzard had not forgotten the core Diablo fans. Diablo 4 is coming when it's quite possible that Diablo 4 wants to get through the wringer before it sees the light of day – because he wants to make the game fun.
Wall Street's rage?
This contrition carries on the earnings call on Thursday, when Blizzard executives like Diablo: Immortal.
"And last week, Blizzard announced Diablo: Immortal, which will bring this tentpole franchise to a mobile audience in both the East and the West, "said Collister" Coddy "Johnson, chief operating officer at Activision Blizzard, during the analyst call on Thursday. "Diablo mobile wants to be a well-received game when it releases, and players around the world will love it."
The Hearthstone Stage at Blizzcon 2018. ” width=”800″ height=”407″ data-recalc-dims=”1″/>
"So we've seen some interesting reaction to the announcement. I think that's clear that there are a lot of players who are eager for more Diablo PC and console content, "Brack replied. "I think that came through loud and clear from BlizzCon. And frankly, we feel fortunate to have a community that cares so much about that franchise. The commitment and the commitment of our community is, I think, one of the things that makes Blizzard very special. He added, "We feel that Diablo Immortal is going to."
He added, "We feel that Diablo Immortal is going to deliver a very authentic Diablo experience, and we are not going to compromise on that. Launching the game is only going to be the beginning. There's going to be the release of the game when we feel like it's 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. "
And he said," Regarding I think the opportunity for Diablo and specifically on mobile, I think it is a very significant opportunity. Mobile is the biggest platform in gaming today. Franchises and other franchises to a global audience, including people who do not have PCs, or especially in China where Blizzard is a very, very strong western brand. "
Activision Blizzard's stock fell 8 percent, losing another few billion
As a result of all the commotion, Macquarie analyst Ben Schachter wrote, "Blizzard is known for its high-quality content, which often takes quite a long time to develop. Now, as it tries to broaden its appeal to mobile and larger audiences, we think there are cultural challenges, leadership changes, and scheduling issues that are impacting the franchises.
That's a fine analysis, but it amounts to putting pressure on Blizzard's leadership to rush things out to make fans and investors happier. That's exactly the wrong thing to do.
I do not know who's crazier here. The fans or the investors. But it's all about one of the finest companies in video games. I would have to see bad results from this brawl. We should let Blizzard be Blizzard.