BlizzCon 2021 is over and Blizzard has refrained from showing off some of the more exciting projects: Diablo Immortal and the Warcraft mobile games are apparently well advanced. Our author, Schuhmann, believes that mobile gaming is not being presented in a big way due to Blizzard’s trauma in 2018.
This is how the trauma occurred: It’s probably one of the worst moments in Blizzard’s 30-year history. At BlizzCon 2018, the studio featured the mobile-only game “Diablo Immortal” as the highlight of the show, while a room for PC fans awaited information on Diablo 4.
During the performance, you could really feel the mood deteriorate and the joy of Diablo 4 turned to frustration with Diablo Immortal.
The scandal came in the round of questions about the game. A fan asked if Diablo Immortal is playable in any way on PC.
Developer Wyatt Cheng said: The current plan is for Diablo Immortal to be playable on both mobile platforms. On iOS and Android. Blizzard has no plans to bring the game to PC.
As a result, Wyatt Chang was booed on the open stage by fans. That rarely happens.
Chang put on a pained smile and asked, “Don’t you have phones?”
Recommended editorial content
At this point, you will find external YouTube content that complements the article.
You don’t have phones?
That was the result: That moment was later captured in thousands of memes. It has become a popular saying that the old Blizzard is dead and the new Blizzard has lost contact with players. They only care about money.
Similar to “You think so, but you don’t” for WoW Classic, Blizzard’s phrase flew around the ears.
In addition to this moment, there were other bad photos from BlizzCon 2018: for example, a fan in a red shirt asked the developers if Diablo Immortal was an “April joke.” He was celebrated as a “hero” on the Internet.
The mood towards Diablo Immortal was downright hateful in the following days. There was a rumor going around the internet that Diablo Immortal was not a game in itself, but simply a cheeky clone from Asia, just cheap goods from the Far East instead of Blizzard crafts.
The developers had to struggle for years to straighten the image of Diablo Immortal.
These are the effects now: Since BlizzCon 2018, Blizzard has banned its mobile games on the big stage:
- At BlizzCon 2019, Diablo Immortal was kept under lock and key, supposedly so fans wouldn’t mistake it for Diablo 4, which was shown on a large scale.
- Diablo Immortal is also doomed to be a niche at BlizzCon 2021 and was only discussed in panels.
- From mobile games to Warcraft, which were mentioned in the financial report as “in advanced development”, there was no trace of BlizzCon
5 things revealed about Diablo Immortal at Blizzcon
Blizzard hides the game fans already love
What is the problem? Diablo Immortal is the hottest iron Blizzard has on fire right now. A first technical alpha was enthusiastically received by fans:
- the game is apparently much closer to a release than a Diablo 4
- looks a lot rounder than Diablo 2 Resurrected right now
- in reality, Diablo Immortal should have belonged to the big stage if it had been seen as a “full-blown game”, as Blizzard supposedly.
Also, according to Activison Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick, Blizzard still has “several mobile titles” for Warcraft in advanced development – absolutely none of what was seen at BlizzCon.
Diablo Immortal had been shown to fans at least 3 years prior to its release and fans will likely have to wait years for Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 to debut in 2019. Actually, it is customary for Blizzard to introduce games to fans from the beginning so they can wait for the games.
This proves: Blizzard apparently treats mobile games as “second-class games” so one gets a bit embarrassed.
Blizzard seems to be ashamed of its mobile games
Activision Blizzard’s strategic focus has been on mobile titles for years – if you keep mobile games away from the fans, a BlizzCon looks pretty slim, as you can see from the mixed reactions.
Diablo 2 remastered and an arcade collection were the highlights of BlizzCon: Blizzard had already revealed the WoW surprises 30 hours in advance.
As a fan you ask yourself:
- What has Blizzard’s “Incubators” department been up to since 2017 if nothing new is coming?
- Why are you introducing a game in 2018 and then hiding it almost entirely at the next two major studio trade shows?
That doesn’t shed a good light on Blizzard.
Diablo Immortal has been banned from the big stage since 2018.
The problem in 2018 was mismanagement of expectations, not mobile gaming
But won’t Blizzard get in trouble if they prove that? No, at least it wasn’t as big of a problem as in 2018. The problem with Diablo Immortal wasn’t that Blizzard was making a game for mobile devices. The problem was, they couldn’t think of anything else.
- Diablo Immortal, as fans eagerly await the presentation of Diablo 4: That was a mistake. Before BlizzCon 2018, one should have clearly told fans: Folks, we’re not showing anything about Diablo 4.
- To show Diablo Immortal as an addition in 2021, if it introduces Diablo 2 Resurrected in a big way: That would have been nice.
Even Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime explained in 2019 that fan disappointment at BlizzCon 2019 was due to mismanagement of expectations for Diablo 4 and not for mobile gaming.
At the moment, Blizzard appears to have decided that they will no longer show mobile games on the big stage at BlizzCon. The trauma of “you don’t have phones?” It seems to haunt Blizzard until 2021.
Diablo Immortal could become a Blizzard hit from an unwanted stepson:
YouTuber thought Diablo Immortal was costing him his job, now he’s excited