You know one of those news cycle elements in where everyone looks bad? This is one.
Kotaku’s Jason Shcreier put an update on with “insider notes” that Diablo 4 was supposed to have a teaser at the end of the Immortal showcase, which would have apparently made all right in the world. But it was pulled at the last minute. Drama!
Then Blizzard responded this wasn’t the case. More drama!
Then the article was appended to say the video was made after all, but the timing for it being at Blizzcon was the issue. It was never planned for that event. Even more drama!
Does it Matter?
It generated reactions, including this post. But…
No one in their right mind thinks that Diablo 4 is not being worked on. It’s the real black sheep of the Blizzard franchise – the only one with a sell it, have no e-sports, and upkeep for free model. That doesn’t work with Blizzard in 2018, as made ultra clear with the announcement of Immortals.
Everyone has a good idea of the basics. You have heroes. You attack demons. Loot drops. The story makes little sense. Infinite replay through infinite grind. Small-group multiplayer.
Is D4 so far out on the schedule that even a teaser isn’t viable?
For a company that prides itself on ultra polishing the genre, and paying attention to trends, the work on Diablo was ultra tone deaf. Bethesda knocked it clear out with FO4 + Fallout Shelter, then ES6 + ES Blades. Even though there’s a mobile game, the main line game is there too. EA didn’t get this memo when they announced C&C Renegades. Blizzard apparently ignored that too.
And really, of all the mobile games to launch, who here was surprised that WoW Pet Battles wasn’t on the list? PokemonGo has been gangbusters. Seems like a license to print money.
No, instead we get game writers (whom by their very profession get various leaks) to spread a message, and then paid to give a counter message, which gets people talking. Except all the parties in this case look bad. The writer looks more like a shill (which is funny, because isn’t that the point of being a writer?), and Blizzard looks all the more foolish to have both prepared and not prepared for this event to unfold. And it keeps Diablo in the news, entirely based on speculation which has never worked out for the best in any time in history.
It’s amazing I’m even blogging about it.