Could Diablo Immortal be the most hated game of 2018?
Diablo Immortal is Blizzard Entertainment’s latest venture into the mobile gaming realm, but what could have been a brave move to broaden the Diablo franchise looks as if it has massively backfired.
The Diablo Immortal mobile game was unveiled at the recent BlizzCon event, and instantly received a staggering backlash from the franchise’s die-hard fans. Much of this negativity could have been due to the fact that many gamers were hoping that Blizzard Entertainment might use BlizzCon to provide details about the highly anticipated Diablo 4 game. But it looks like whatever the reason, Blizzard are in danger of being seriously out of touch with their audience.
With Blizzard’s stock price free-falling following the unveiling, and the number of dislikes on the cinematic trailer of Diablo Immortal skyrocketing, it seems that this mobile game could easily be one of the biggest controversies of 2018. And whilst mobile versions of popular PC games are often treated to plenty of disdain, it looks like Diablo Immortal could seriously alienate Blizzard’s audience.
Is Diablo Immortal really that bad?
First impressions of the Diablo Immortal mobile game is that on the surface it looks and feels like a pocket-sized version of the standard Diablo franchise. The iOS and Android mobile game features all of the hack-and-slash gameplay that would be familiar to anybody who enjoyed Diablo 3, and whilst using a touch screen for movement and combat might be a little weird for dedicated fans, Blizzard will have been hoping that Diablo Immortal would give gamers an easy way to enjoy the franchise whilst out and about.
Several reviewers were given chance to get a brief play of Diablo Immortal at BlizzCon, and whilst many stated that it actually played fairly impressively, others remarked that some precision controls felt quite clumsy, and that the locked abilities meant that some characters didn’t quite have the same feel as in the full PC version of the game.
The biggest concern about Diablo Immortal seems to be regarding the fact that it was made in conjunction with the free-to-play games developer, NetEase. This means that micro-transactions could be a big part of Diablo Immortal, and such a fact would hardly endear the title to the hardcore Diablo fanbase.
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What does this mean for Blizzard Entertainment?
Blizzard Entertainment were certainly caught on the back-foot by the angry response to Diablo Immortal. Not only was there waves of complaint from disgruntled Diablo fans, but even the games developer’s stock price fell by a staggering 6.74% as a result of the mobile game’s unveiling.
It’s fairly common for new games titles to get a negative response from a small group of ‘toxic gamers’, but with a franchise as respected as Diablo, it seems that Blizzard has got things seriously wrong this time. Many fans were hoping that the BlizzCon event would give a glimpse into the hotly anticipated Diablo 4 game, and so getting a diluted mobile version of Diablo 3 would have hardly been likely to appease die-hard gamers.What’s truly remarkable is the fact that some ex-employees of Blizzard Entertainment like the Diablo 2 producer, Mark Kern, stated that this was just a further example of how the brand have become out of touch with their gamers. Not that all will be lost for Blizzard Entertainment as other BlizzCon reveals such as Warcraft III: Reforged and the new Overwatch character, Ashe, suggests that this legendary games developer are still in rude health.
Which other games have met such a negative response?
So is Diablo Immortal the most hated game of the year so far? In the past we have seen all manner of gaming disappointments that suggest that this mobile game might have some way to go. Remember all of the hype about No Man’s Sky that ultimately ended up as one of the dullest and pointless games of all time?
But it wasn’t just this title that disappointed fans, as even last year’s Mass Effect: Andromeda also proved to be something of a misfire with way too many boring dialogue scenes ruining what could have been one of the year’s biggest games. Other recent gaming duds have included Konami’s weirdly bad Metal Gear Survive, and Supermassive’s Bravo Team showed that epic failures can still happen in 2018.
Above all, it looks like it was the expectations about a Diablo 4 unveiling that could have caused Diablo Immortal to meet with such hostility. So can Diablo Immortal ride the storm and overcome its overwhelmingly negative response? Whilst no release date has been given just yet, Blizzard Entertainment have stated that Diablo Immortal will be coming soon so that you can try it for yourself.