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The firestorm around Blizzard’s Diablo Immortal picks up

If you’re unaware of what this is, then all you have to know is that Blizzard announced a mobile Diablo game at BlizzCon last week. Fans? They’re not happy.

Diablo goes to hell

What are your thoughts on Diablo Immortal? Do you like the idea of a spinoff for the popular PC (and console) series of aRPGs? Or, like seemingly everyone who’s not in the press, do you hate it? Either way, it’s apparently coming your way, and it doesn’t look bad from the teaser trailers.

Here’s a look at the barbarian in action:

Diablo Immortal is a mobile aRPG MMO. The game will allow players to team up or go it alone in what sounds like an open-world version of Sanctuary, with Westmarch serving as a central hub. There you’ll be able to take on the role of one of the series’ staple classes, like the Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Necromancer, or Wizard.

According to Blizzard, Immortal will feature a full suite of touch-controls including a direction “pad”. As for platforms, it’ll be appearing on Android and iOS-centric devices. I actually like the way it’s looking, and I have a feeling that if it was presented as a press release instead of a BlizzCon focal point, the reaction would have been very different.

As it was, fans revolted

One attendee at BlizzCon even asked presenters if the reveal was an out of season April Fool’s joke in the Q & A segment. While the reaction definitely didn’t make the fanbase look great, I think it’s also understandable. After all, no one was asking for a mobile Diablo of any kind, least of all one that actually fits into the canon, telling an (assumedly) important story. Then there’s the other issue with the game.

Plainly, Immortal looks like it might be a simple re-skin of a mobile title that already exists. Tied-in with that is the fact that said mobile title is not even made by Blizzard. I’m talking about the fact that Immortal comes from a Chinese development house named NetEase that specializes in mobile games. And it’s their previous title, Crusaders of Light, that fans fear was used as the base for Immortal.

That’s actually both good news and bad. On the one hand, it’s easy to assume that NetEase isn’t going to take care of the IP the way that Blizzard would. And on the other? Well, plainly it means that little to no resources were taken away from the still coming Diablo IV. That, at least, is a good takeaway.

And then there’s the petition

Obviously this isn’t going anywhere. I doubt Blizzard is going to cancel a game because fans are “demanding” it via an online petition, and yet that’s exactly what’s happening. A change.org campaign has been started, and is absolutely rolling.

As of this writing, over 34k fans have signed the petition to cancel the new game, and keep the property off of mobile devices. A description of the campaign calls Immortal “a spit in the face” of the Diablo community, and an “outrage”.

So clearly, people are not pleased. And while I think it’s safe to assume Immortal is not going to be cancelled, all of this negative reaction might have an effect in getting future mobile considerations canned. I have to imagine too, that organizers would take that as a win.

Whichever direction things go, I still can’t wait for more official word on D4 from Blizzard. Any time you’d like to show off something from that game guys, I’m more than ready to have a look. And I have a feeling there are few other fans who might want a peek too.

About Jason Micciche

Jason's been knee deep in videogames since he was but a lad. Cutting his teeth on the pixely glory that was the Atari 2600, he's been hack'n'slashing and shoot'em'uping ever since. Mainly an FPS and action guy, Jason enjoys the occasional well crafted title from every genre.

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