At BlizzCon 2018, Blizzard Entertainment surprised fans and critics alike by announcing Diablo Immortal. Immortal, a mobile game, would bring the series’ RPG, loot-collecting action to smartphones and tablets. However, it seems that the newly announced title is just the start of Blizzard’s plans for mobile devices.
In an interview that took place following the shock Diablo Immortal announcement, Blizzard was asked how the decision to make the game came about. Blizzard co-founder and executive producer of incubation Allen Adham explained that the success of Hearthstone on mobile “opened our eyes to broader opportunity.” Adham also revealed that “without getting overly specific,” Blizzard has “big plans for the mobile space.” The studio executive went on to call its mobile gaming efforts a “big initiative” and that “you can expect to see more mobile titles from us spanning all of our IPs at some point in the future.”
Adham’s comments may surprise some fans given the negative reaction against Diablo Immortal. The trailers for the game were flooded with dislikes and strongly-worded comments criticizing the studio for announcing a mobile Diablo game instead of the Diablo 4 that many had been asking for. Blizzard was also accused of not knowing or just outright ignoring what fans really want.
But, it should be noted that this interview was conducted not long after that initial announcement. This means that Blizzard may not have had enough time to assess the backlash against Diablo Immortal and change its future mobile gaming plans accordingly.
Or, it could be that Blizzard feels as though there is more to be gained from the mobile game space. Those many negative responses to Diablo Immortal may not be putting the studio off. The mobile games industry is worth more than $50 billion and Blizzard very much wants to cut itself a slice of that, using Overwatch, StarCraft, and its other properties as the knife.
Moreover, it may be too late for Blizzard to turn back on its mobile gaming plans. A job listing published last year suggested that Blizzard is working on an RTS game for mobile devices. It is unlikely that these hirings were related to the Diablo mobile game, indicating that this RTS mobile game is already quite far into the production stage. Though, whenever Blizzard does unveil these other mobile games, the studio will likely tread more carefully with its announcements.
Source: Digital Trends