“If both games are good, I think it’s a win for everyone” says Grinding Gear Games’ co-founder.
This weekend, Grinding Gear Games created a sensation of sorts by announcing Path of Exile 2. This “sequel” is actually a very large expansion to the current free to play, offering a new seven Act campaign, 19 new Ascendancy classes and heaps of other new features. Given the timing of the reveal, it’s hard not to compare it to the reveal of Diablo 4 at BlizzCon 2019.
When you consider that Diablo 4 is looking to incorporate a shared world and more in-depth trading mechanics, one has to wonder how the two will coexist. PC Gamer spoke to Grinding Gear Games co-founder Chris Wilson about the same, who offered his thoughts on both titles’ approach. “One thing with Path of Exile 2 versus Diablo 4 is they’re making a new product and they’re going to try some new things.
“They’re going to get some things right and some things wrong. [Diablo 4] may be amazing or it might be bad. We don’t know. And [Blizzard] won’t know until people play it—until the die is cast—and they’ve released something. I know Path of Exile is good. I’m not planning to screw around with anything that makes it good.
“I know the new campaign has better quality and more fun than the old campaign. I know the new skill system lets you do everything with the old one while removing some frustrations and adding some new stuff. So I want to only make it better in a safe way. If we have a crazy change like a new idea for the skill tree that might just be dangerous. We probably won’t do it.”
Wilson also notes that the studio isn’t making the kind of money that Blizzard made on Diablo 3. However, he feels that the marketing and overall publicity for Diablo 4 will be good for the genre as a whole. “And that means that when people have enjoyed playing [Diablo 4], they can also enjoy playing us because it costs them nothing to get into it. And people will certainly be talking about both games.”
Path of Exile’s Leagues also offer a good jumping off point for other games since players invest the most time at the start. Wilson feels that both studios staggering their season start times would be beneficial. In closing, he noted that, “Every Path of Exile player is probably going to buy Diablo 4 and enjoy it. I strongly believe that and that’s amazing. It’s going to be good for the genre. And, likewise, I would like a lot of Diablo 4 players to try Path of Exile. If both games are good, I think it’s a win for everyone.”
Path of Exile 2 is currently planned to enter the beta stage in “very late” 2020. Diablo 4 doesn’t have a release date or window at all but is in the works for PS4, Xbox One and PC.