If you missed the opening ceremony for BlizzCon 2018 – or even the admittedly tense Overwatch World Cup – there was quite a bit to digest. No, we’re not talking about South Korea winning for the third year in a row. Along with announcing Warcraft 3: Reforged, Blizzard revealed that it was working with NetEase Games on Diablo Immortal. This MMO action RPG would be coming to mobile platforms in the future.
Naturally, fans expressed their disappointment, with many calling the announcement a “slap in the face”. Blizzard co-founder Allen Adham recently spoke to Kotaku about expecting backlash (though “not to this degree”) and clarified a few things about the game’s development. First, he reaffirmed that Diablo Immortal is being handled by a separate team. The core Diablo team is busy with other things.
“There are actually two distinct teams,” he said. “That’s something we tried to communicate. I know our community here, there’s a concern that we are focused on this instead of that. The truth is that we have multiple Diablo teams working on multiple unannounced Diablo projects even after announcing [Immortal].”
Some claim that Diablo Immortal is just a reskin of NetEase’s other mobile action RPGs, like Crusaders of Light. Adham denies this, stating that the art and assets for Diablo Immortal were built specifically for the game. “I want to assure you that Diablo Immortal is purpose-built from the ground up.” What about the control scheme and its similarities to NetEase’s title?
Adham replied, “In the East, that control method is becoming ubiquitous, and it’s becoming ubiquitous because it’s very natural, and it feels great. Less so in the West, but we’re now starting to see some games that are bringing that mechanic to the West. So it’s us taking inspiration from some of the work they’ve done already.”
Diablo Immortal is currently in development for iOS and Android devices.