Blizzard Responds to "a Slap in the Face"

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11/03/2018 10:06 PMPosted by MaxKrist
Diablo Immortal is another attempt to cash in on the Diablo brand, through an untapped market of bored non-gamers with disposable incomes.

"Suffice it to say, a vocal portion of the Diablo fanbase isn’t happy with Blizzard’s Diablo: Immortal announcement." "Polygon spoke with Allen Adham, executive producer and Blizzard co-founder, and Dan Eggren, production director, about the response to Diablo: Immortal."
Source: Diablo team stresses that they have multiple Diablo projects in development
By Michael McWhertor, Nov 3, 2018, 3:37pm EDT https://www.polygon.com/blizzcon/2018/11/3/18059222/diablo-immortal-blizzard-response-blizzcon

Blizzard unveiled Diablo: Immortal, a new game set in the the Diablo universe built for mobile devices, at BlizzCon 2018’s opening ceremony yesterday, and reaction from fans has been unkind at best.

The game’s announcement trailer has racked up more than a million views but it’s also received more than 257,000 dislikes. Multiple threads on the Diablo series subreddit have bemoaned Diablo: Immortal as a reskin of a pre-existing mobile game, calling Blizzard “out of touch” and equating the announcement to “a slap in the face.” During a BlizzCon panel, one attendee who stepped up to the microphone during a Q&A session sarcastically asked whether Diablo: Immortal was a delayed April Fool’s Day joke.

Suffice it to say, a vocal portion of the Diablo fanbase isn’t happy with Blizzard’s Diablo: Immortal announcement.

Today, Polygon spoke with Allen Adham, executive producer and Blizzard co-founder, and Dan Eggren, production director, about the response to Diablo: Immortal. The pair repeatedly stressed that Immortal is just one of the Diablo games currently in development at Blizzard and they hoped that fans will remain patient for future announcements.

“We have said that we have multiple Diablo teams working on multiple Diablo projects and that remains true, even after releasing [Diablo 3 for Nintendo] Switch and announcing Diablo: Immortal,” Adham said. “We still have multiple Diablo teams working on multiple unannounced Diablo projects. Diablo is a tentpole franchise for us. And it always will be. We love it. We hope our fans understand what we’re saying when we say that.”

Adham said that Diablo: Immortal was developed as a way to bring the Diablo experience to the hundreds of millions of people who play games every day on their mobile device, including those who have transitioned from console and PC.

“The world is evolving both geographically and demographically,” he said. “Younger folks now, many of them, mobile is their primary gaming device. And then around the world in many regions it’s their primary gaming device, and so it’s always been our aspiration [to bring games to them].

“We’ve been around for around three decades and we’ve been making games on many different platforms during that time, going all the way back to Amiga and Commodore 64 to the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. So to us, this is another gaming platform ... The opportunity to bring this to an all new audience or to bring it to players who have shifted their play patterns to mobile and bring them all together with an authentic Diablo experience, it’s super exciting for us.”

“[Diablo: Immortal] was created from the ground up — from the initial get-go [our intention] was to create that Diablo experience on mobile,” Eggren said. “So the feel, the UI and everything around this game is built with the philosophy to make the best Diablo experience we can on a mobile platform.”

Regardless of Blizzard’s intention to do right by Diablo, reaction to Immortal has been largely negative. Part of that response may be the hardcore gaming audience’s aversion to watered-down mobile versions of long-running game franchise. It’s also likely that backlash can be chalked up to high expectations for BlizzCon and hunger for a long-awaited sequel to 2012’s Diablo 3.

In our interview, Adham said that some Diablo fans will probably change their opinion of Immortal when they actually get their hands on it.

“We definitely feel that playing is believing,” Adham said, “and we definitely value our fans. We feel that they’re passionate about the franchise ... and they put their heart into it just as we put our heart into it. And we hope that as they get opportunities to see people play, see more of the gameplay, they’ll see that passion that’s in this game... What we see is anybody who actually holds it and plays it feels great about it.

“The way I’ve been kind of looking at the mixed comments is what those folks are really saying is they desperately, passionately want the next big thing. So I actually think that those two items are being conflated. So I don’t think that the mixed comments are necessarily anything other than when a really passionate audience that desperately wants to see what they hope to see one day ... It’s pretty clear to us that there is a huge audience around the world that is gonna love this title. So hopefully we’ll get there.”

Finally, I asked Adham and Eggren about how they approached the reveal of Diablo: Immortal, and if they had concerns beforehand that fans would bristle at the game’s announcement.

“We did,” Adham said. “We’ve had many conversations — and I’m sure we’ll have many more actually in the aftermath of this — about the strategy of weaving mobile gaming into our BlizzCon audience, which is a very passionate desktop PC and console audience. We had a fairly similar reaction when we announced Hearthstone; if you think back to the Hearthstone announcement at Gamescom our audience at the time, [fans were] a bit unsure of what to expect from a digital card game given our history of making other game types. But then if you look at our history, part of what we do at Blizzard over many years is make different games and different genres, one after another on different platforms. So we’ve done this for a long time, and it usually starts with a little bit of sort of uncertainty and then we win [over] our community over time.”

“We take the time to iterate to put out the best experience,” Eggren said, “You know, we’ll listen to the passion we have from fans, and we we’ll definitely take those things to heart and make sure we do right [by them.”
Highly Rated
Just more reason to push the banning of predatory micro-transactions state side.
Highly Rated
yeah they now have multiple diablo in development after the massive backlash yesterday.
Highly Rated
a lot of bull!@#$ after the bomb they drop
would you belive?
Highly Rated
"Adham said that some Diablo fans will probably change their opinion of Immortal when they actually get their hands on it."

Nope.
Highly Rated
so show us a d4 announcement trailer. they shouldve made a cinematic trailer for d4 and not for this mobile trash...just give us SOMETHING
11/03/2018 01:57 PMPosted by Zulk
yeah they now have multiple diablo in development after the massive backlash yesterday.

This was common knowledge for the past several weeks now. This isn't something they mentioned due to the backlash.
They could do Blizzcon better anyway...
Highly Rated
They don't seem to get it. I can only speak for myself but I do not care that they want to cash with a mobile game, it is the timing and the hyping that got me mad.
No mobile gamer was reading the forum or seeing the hype vid from Blizzard and got their hopes up for a mobile Diablo game.
All we needed was a hint at Diablo 4, perhaps also the Diablo 2 remake and they could have made as many mobile games they want to. And in that order, not the mobile first and oh yeah we got other games in the making too.
This manager is good at replacing concepts. HS is so much diff. It has great success and very popular at that time, then they introduce it to mobile. DI? We wanna see a great pc title and then you can try make it mobile. Not an independent mimic !@#$ of the abandoned d3.
Highly Rated
To refute what they're saying. Younger kids are NOT playing primarily mobile. Mobile is usually just a cheap way for older folks and teens to mess around in, but it's not a primary system. All the younger kids in my family are playing console, all their friends are playing console. All they talk about is XBOX and PS4.

Diablo has had it's roots in the PC market, the majority fanbase is in the PC. They need to stop catering to a crowd that is so tiny or doesn't even exist. They need to stop porting this 6 year old game for the upteenth time and make something new. Players are getting tired of running the same content. They didn't spend the $200+ to go to Blizzcon just to see... this....

This was entirely the reason people were upset. They could have defused the whole situation just by saying something like "D4 is in the works" or a D2 remaster... just something.
Still don't care about Diablo Immortal.

Or any other Blizzfart game for that matter.
11/03/2018 01:57 PMPosted by Zulk
yeah they now have multiple diablo in development after the massive backlash yesterday.


They've had the multiple diablo projects in work even before the backlash and the backlash changed none of that. Those multiple diablo projects are still in the works and will eventually release! Be it a completely new diablo sequel or a D2 remaster.
They are still dodging one of the biggest problems - if this is to be a part of the main series, sort of a "Diablo 2.5" in terms of the storyline - why lock it away from PC? I'm not going to act like I know the percentage, but they are guaranteeing that a portion of the audience will not see / consume that part of the story. It is reminiscent of the way WoW lore used to be locked inside top tier raids, but at least you could buy your way into a group if you wanted it bad enough. The people who are diametrically opposed to mobile are simply going to miss out. Makes little sense, especially when they are pushing out D3 on every platform they can find, to suddenly limit this to only one.
Highly Rated
I love how they say "the mixed comments"... like... guys... there are no mixed comments. 97% Downvote Rates aren't mixed. They are negative. Purely negative.

And also, don't just state "We hAvE oThEr PrOjEcTs!"... friggin say what they are. Just say "We work on D4 for PC." Done. Just say "We work on Druids for D3." Done. That can't be so hard can it? Unless those "other projects" are the Netflix Series and Comic Books, along with the Diablo Dice Board Game, and absolutely nothing new for the PC...?
i wont change my mind because ive already played games which looks like diablo immortal.

god please.. why people are so dumb and greeddy?
“We still have multiple Diablo teams working on multiple unannounced Diablo projects"

PLAIN AND SIMPLE

LIARS.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0lzyUOjvFw
Highly Rated
What irks me most is the straight up censorship and manipulation of the media to lie to their fan base. The media has been complicit in it. I haven't seen one mention of it in the gaming media about Activision deleting critical posts that didn't violate the ToS, influencing Reddit to censor criticism, or Activision violating the YouTube ToS by posting multiple instances of the same video on the same account to hide the real numbers of dislikes.

To me, the bigger story is how everyone from Activision to the media has been complicit in doing things they say they won't do just to manipulate public perception. Yesterday want just the death of Blizzard for me, it was the death of any credibility of an entire ecosystem built around gaming.
Better late than never for them to announce this, but this should have been made clear on the show floor ON DAY ONE, not sending Allen out to try and calm the fans through Polygon.

This was a colossal planning and marketing fumble that REEKS of executive/shareholder meddling. Did the fanbase overreact in some cases? For sure. But this was still largely an uncharacteristic fumble by Blizzard.

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