Several months ago, a NetEase representative revealed that all the development on the side of NetEase had been completed: “With regards to the launch of Diablo Immortal, we will announce a market launch date simultaneously with Blizzard. But on our side, development is already fully prepared and invested.”
It has been now 8 months since Blizzard Entertainment unveiled Diablo Immortal and no one has heard a peep about the game after that announcement — at least from Blizzard. So what happened?
NetEase has encouraged the press to reach out to Activision Blizzard to ask the question, but certainly nothing has been heard as a follow up. Why is Activision Blizzard holding up on details or on what the status of Diablo Immortal is?
I am going to speculate here based on what we know. Diablo Immortal was not received well by the audience at BlizzCon. Blizzard did clarify at least a couple of times that we would not be hearing about Diablo 4 at BlizzCon, but that the forges of Hell were burning. That was clearly a “Don’t expect Diablo 4 to be announced at BlizzCon.”
With Diablo Immortal and other Blizzard mobile games around the corner, those who already have phones might be thinking about upgrading, while those without a phone might wonder what’s the newest device in the block in 2019.
Samsung has officially announced the Samsung Galaxy S10. You can now buy it at carrier service companies starting on March 8, or you can pre-order the Factory Unlocked version here:
Chris Haga, former Diablo III Technical Artist uploaded a video shortly after the Diablo Immortal announcement at BlizzCon to share his point of view about the game, but more importantly to defend Wyatt Cheng, Mike Morhaime, and Allen Adham.
Chris Haga worked at Blizzard for 7 years until December 2011. A year before the Diablo III launch. He admits the game was not good upon launch, and praises Wyatt Cheng for turning around things until it felt more like Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.
NOTE: Not family or job safe. Some profanity spoken in both videos.
Diablo Immortal was announced as an MMOARPG (or massively multiplayer online action roleplaying game). However, there weren’t many elements we could see of this in the BlizzCon demo.
You never saw other players cross paths with any of the livestreamers while traversing the Bilefen. Only when they queued for the dungeon as a Group, did we see other players.
Of course, this is only a demo; and Wyatt Cheng mentioned you can see other people in the Westmarch capital city.
However, how much of a MMO features are we really going to see in Diablo Immortal when it comes to seeing other ungrouped people in the world? Better yet, why is the world of Sanctuary not a real world?
As I pointed out recently in a tweet addressed to @Diablo and in a forum thread at Diablofans, when I hear the term MMO wrapped around a Diablo video game, I have very steep and high expectations.
I knitted together the full map of the Bilefen by taking screenshots of the BlizzCon Diablo Immortal livestream by Bahjeera and Kraxell. For an “MMO” this doesn’t look like an MMO open world. I coined it a spaghetti string that goes from Point A to Point B.
Watching a Diablo Immortal gameplay video, I put together in Adobe Photoshop all the mini-map pieces to build the Bilefen map, as seen in the BlizzCon demo. I also added the quests and small areas within the Bilefen: such as the Abandoned Village, the Deathmire, and the Court of Madness.
During BlizzCon 2018, the Diablo developers announced a new MMO-Action RPG game for mobile devices. Diablo Immortal is set 5 years after the destruction of the Worldstone, filling the gap storywise for what happened between Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and Diablo III.