That grave ain’t gonna dig itself.
Fresh off the hot waters Blizzard has found themselves in after the Diablo Immortal announcement, they seem hell bent on destroying whatever good will everyone is desperately trying to give them back (and that includes me). After the Kotaku report by Jason Schreier, there was a glimmer of hope that maybe Diablo Immortal was just a fluke. That maybe Blizzard teams are still trying to work on PC and console games, maybe they just didn’t have anything to show. Well those hopes were dashed by Allen Adhan himself.
In a post-Blizzcon conference, the co-founder of Blizzard decided to offer a very different take on the situation. Adhan firmly believes in the mobile future and states that there’s more mobile games to come, associated with all Blizzard IPs. And just to twist the knife, he says that all Blizzard’s teams and their best developers are internally working on these games. The message is clear: it’s our way or the highway.
Moreover, Adhan stated that mobile technology now allows for “the same fidelity as PC gaming” which, if I am to be perfectly honest with you, sounds completely contrary to the very point of mobile technology. If what he said was true, we wouldn’t be using PCs anymore.
Admittedly, the way you play a PC or a console game fundamentally differs from how you approach a mobile game. And it has nothing to do with “fidelity” (graphics is consistently proven to be the least important quality of the game), and everything to do with man-machine interface. For all harping on about how Diablo gameplay boils down to clicking on mobs, it’s still infinitely more complex than what a mobile device could possibly allow.
And it begs the question, if they want gaming-on-the-go to be their new thing, why mobile? Why not Switch, which manages to offer quasi-console experience, but is portable in the same way a phone would be? Anybody have a satisfactory answer?
As you can expect, the video above was quickly assaulted by Diablo fans, thirsty for blood (it’s a matter of time before it follows the fate of the announcement and starts getting re-uploaded, deleting comments and tampering with the like/dislike ratio). The pervasive feeling is a mixture of disgust and confusion.
This puts yours truly in a pretty tough position. I was willing to give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt because I figured that maybe it was one huge misunderstanding. But with Adhan’s staggering performance, a new idea is forming in my mind. One whereby the plans for the announcement were made, but Blizzard decided not to commit to it themselves, banking everything on mobile Diablo inexplicably garnering positive feedback. Which on one hand is at least honest. On another… Not very well-thought out. Courage can only get you so far.
But of course, I can’t tell what happened and is happening at Blizzard for sure. Maybe I’m naive, but I’m still willing to have faith that all of it is going to turn out ok. I’m not a Blizzard fanboy by any means (though over the years I find that my library of games is getting more skewed in their favor), but it’s hard for me to accept that they’d go insane overnight.
I find it hard not to echo the sentiment of the comment section on this one. Which is to say, in the words of Blizzard no less: no king rules forever my son.