Yesterday, during a BlizzCon Q & A shortly after the announcement of the mobile game Diablo Immortal a fan in a red shirt approached the microphone . "I was just wondering," he said in a dead tone. "Is this an April Fools out of season?", Cheered the audience. It was just the beginning of a very long weekend for Blizzard. The company expected the fans to respond passionately, said one of its co-founders Kotaku today in an interview with Kotaku but it was not prepared for the subsequent vitriol level.
Yesterday on stage, a developer on the stage gently lowered the fan. "No," he replied to the multi-faceted question, "It's a full-fledged Diablo experience on the phone everyone will get to play, and hopefully bring new heroes to Sanctuary and welcome our visitors to the community back and something we're very excited about. "
Reactions to Diablo Immortal has been raging in social media, YouTube, Reddit, and other sites ever since, largely from a blog post before BlizzCon Blizzard Suppress fans' expectations and clarify that several Diablo projects are in the works, but they said, "We're going to do some Diablo -related news with you on the The blog entry aroused the hopes of many fans that even information on Diablo IV was lost at a low level, otherwise they stopped At least one remaster of a classic Diablo game. Instead, they got a mobile game that was developed in collaboration with the Chinese company NetEase. Some fans have taken this as a sign that Blizzard has abandoned the PC and console in favor of greener mobile pastures – leaving the fans on whom they founded their foundations.
The subreddit of Diablo is just an avalanche of indignation. "Blizzard has stopped games like Ghost and Titan because they did not meet the blizzard quality," the current top thread says with over 12,000 upvotes. "Now they outsource outsourcing and reskinning games. I'm not sad, just disappointed and angry. "
The fans are especially focusing on a joke that chief designer Wyatt Cheng made during yesterday's Q & A, after saying that Immortal did not come to PC. "Do not you have any phones?" He asked the audience in a faux-disbelieving tone. Fans have decided that this is the ultimate example of Blizzard's toneless deafness. In a thread with nearly 4,000 upvotes, it says, "Everyone says Blizzard is in contact with their fans. Apart from touch, this is the only way to play the next Diablo . Do not you all have any phones at all?
Other threads in subreddit accuse Blizzard of killing Diablo call the game a "slap in the face" and justify being disrespectful to Blizzard collaborators, while the official forum of Diablo is called to boycotts and petitions, Immortal to be canceled. There have also been allegations that Blizzard dislikes Diablo Immortal (feature films and gameplayer trailers) who currently have 215,000 and 132,000 aversions on YouTube, but others have suggested that the number of variations is an algorithmic issue or an adjustment after voting with multiple accounts has been removed. Not surprisingly, Gamergate subreddit Kotaku In Action has also lent its considerable number to the conspiratorial and conspiratorial elements of this wave of repercussions, which actually strengthened them.
In an interview with Kotaku At BlizzCon, executive producer and Blizzard co-founder Allen Adham admitted that Blizzard expected a backlash, but "not to that extent."
"We know that our audience here is passionately focused on PC and console," he said. "We've seen that before. We saw a similar reaction when we announced  to comfort Diablo and we have seen a similar reaction to the announcement of Hearthstone . "
But of course there is also the elephant-sized lord of darkness and anguish in the room: people thought they would see Diablo IV . "Apart from that, we knew that our audience here absolutely wanted to see and hear something," Adham said in reference to the important play Diablo coming after Diablo III .
Theoretically, the above-mentioned blog post was meant to distract thinking on the pass, but it backfired. Big video game companies have a chance to talk about things they did not announce, and the post illustrates this. If you read it in retrospect, it's pretty obvious that people are encouraged not to hope for something big at BlizzCon. However, it is easy to see how fans could interpret it as if it meant the complete opposite. Nowhere is it directly stated that one should not expect to see the next big game Diablo at BlizzCon.
Adham believes, however, that he and his team did the best they could. "At Blizzard, we do not announce things until we're ready. It's about game quality, less about timing, about giving our players an overwhelming experience, "he said. "We tried to make some progress with the blog post to tell this group that we are working on several things and working on several things. However, it is quite clear that her incredible passion for Diablo manifests itself in an interesting way.
Adham also talked about the structure of the Diablo Immortal team, explaining that this is a team joint effort of a team from Blizzard and a team from NetEase in China. While these teams interact with the main team Diablo the Immortal team and the main team Diablo are separated and work in separate projects.
"There are actually two different teams," Adham said. "We tried to communicate that. I know our community here, there is a concern that we focus on it instead. The truth is that we have several Diablo teams working on several unannounced Diablo projects, even after they announced [ Immortal ]. "
Some fans have so much to suggest that Diablo Immortal is a reskin of a previous NetEase action RPG group. Adham rejected this, saying that even the art and fortune – what looked like they came directly from Diablo III – were made for Immortal and Immortal Service. "I want to assure you that Diablo Immortal was built from the ground up," he said. He went on to further clarify the similarities between NetEase's old game and Diablo Immortal in particular the touch-based control scheme, which is essentially identical to NetEase's previous action RPG: "In the East, this control becomes the method is omnipresent and becomes omnipresent, because it is very natural and feels great. Less in the West, but now we see some games bringing this mechanic west. So we are inspired by some of the work they have already done. "
That does not mean that Diablo the fears of the fans are completely wrong. The world of mobile gambling is extremely under-regulated and includes exploitative business practices that are exposed to very real-world issues such as gambling addiction. By now, Blizzard is a huge company that has implemented systems in its games that are basically exploitative – even though its approach was generally more harmless than any other. As a result, people are worried that Blizzard will embrace the dark side of microtransactions with his mobile game about the Dark Lord. In this regard, Adham could offer no concrete assurances. Instead, he pointed out the track record of Blizzard.
"If you think about Blizzard in the last three decades, we've developed many different games with different models: Boxed Products We Sell, Digital Downloads, WoW is on a subscription basis, Hearthstone and Overwatch have loot boxes and loot bags, "he said. Heroes of the Storm is another free game. So I hope that our community can see that there are some key issues driving us at Blizzard at this time, and they are always & # 39; make a fantastic game and give our players an overwhelming value. & # 39; This is the way we think about it. Whether Free-Play or Premium, that remains our North Star.
There are many explosions in social media discussing the vivacity of video game culture . Not surprisingly, the idea of a mobile Diablo game was somewhat suppressed. What's shocking here is the sheer volume of molten vitriol pouring in over a seemingly dry situation: a real new Diablo was and is in the works. and Diablo Immortal is a separate matter that does not detract from it. Even the game itself is fine, if a little too flat. No harm, no foul – apart from some hurt feelings about unfulfilled expectations. And yet, people have decided that this is the ultimate betrayal, all because a single game is not focused on the die-hard PC and console fans. It's good and understandable to be skeptical of a big company, but the reaction here is absolutely disproportionate to what Blizzard actually did.
Adham did not claim, but passion. "They love what they love and want what they want," he said of the fans who romp at BlizzCon and the Internet. "It is this passion that drives us, and we feel it too. That's why we make games and why we've been developing games for almost three decades – and why our community is so passionate about our franchises. I understand their feeling and wish we could report more about all the amazing things we do, not just with the Diablo franchise but throughout the company. "
Unfortunately, a kind of rhetoric that is obviously significant and is often used by developers with vocal fans can add to the problem. It positions the "passion" that leads to disrespect and even abuse as a virtue, which in turn causes subsequent cycles of furious uproar when developers do not give their core exactly what they want. If even large corporations like Blizzard praise the outbursts of these fans, they must be justified.
Nevertheless, Adham hopes Blizzard will be able to satisfy everyone in the end.
"Our hope is that our existing hardcore fans will play this game and love to learn new things about the tradition, but engage in similar gameplay that they know and love," he said. "The main difference now is that they can walk around in their pockets and play anytime, anywhere. But then bring in a new, wider audience that may like action RPGs but has not experienced Diablo . And if we're really good at our jobs, bring a whole new mobile audience that's never played a mobile action RPG or RPG before. Doing all this right is a challenge we think about on a daily basis. "