Following the Diablo Immortals reveal at Blizzcon, fans responded with harsh comments as this was not the Diablo game they were expecting. Mark Kern, an ex-Blizzard employee who served as the producer of Diablo 2, discussed the situation on Twitter.
Kern says that gamers are not to blame for this and blames the issue on “bad PR handling”. “Blizzard gamers are not smugly entitled,” he says. “Today’s devs needs to talk to gamers all the time. Game dev has gotten so big it’s easy to lose touch. Many devs stop playing games as they start making them professionally. You need to make an effort to connect and tear down the corporate wall and get to know your audience.”
As for the actual game itself, Kern believes that Blizzard did not handle the reveal properly. “There is nothing wrong with having a mobile version of Diablo. In fact, I would have wanted one as an option,” Kern adds. “But the way it was hinted at, and presented, and the failure of Blizzard management to predict the backlash caught me my surprise.”
The majority of the backlash comes from fans who were expecting a fully fledged Diablo title, and not a mobile title. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the improper delivery resulted in Diablo Immortals feeling like a “huge bait-n-switch feeling moment.”
“Blizzard coyly played up the Diablo hype, which is a good move, but failed to anticipate that their PC based audience was going to expect…well…a PC based announcement,” Kern continues. “Blizzard has said now, that they are working on multiple Diablo projects. They really should have dropped a teaser for their PC based project alongside their mobile announcement if that’s the case.”
The conclusion that we can draw from this is that Blizzard messed up in their presentation. Without having played Diablo Immortals, we can’t comment on the gameplay, but it’s obvious at this point that die-hard fans expecting a complete Diablo sequel won’t be satisfied with a mobile title, no matter how well it plays.