trash mobile game that spits in the face of Blizzards' core audience
I don't really get how this is "spits" in anyone's face. At most it seems like a poorly thought out move that garnered some possibly disproportional backlash rather than any attempt to insult anyone. Maybe in a vacuum it might have been better rather than the only "new" offering at a Blizzcon.
The problem is that the Diablo franchise's core audience is PC gamers, and they made the appearance of trying to sell a watered-down, likely microtransaction-laden game as the new great thing to that same crowd. It just wasn't the right crowd to play it to, and the cornered defensive act unfortunately made the whole thing worse.
If they had played it off casually as some side thing to maybe tide the fans over until the next proper game in the franchise, then maybe it would have gone better. But they tried to hype it as a must-have thing instead, and the fans laughed at them instead.
So yeah, it's more a mishandled approach rather than a "spit in your face" attempt to insult or antagonize.
It also comes on the back of around a year of Diablo 3 with no major gameplay adjustments (last major patch was following last year's Blizzcon).
Making matters worse, there was a community thread mid-Summer that suddenly got the fandom all jazzed up, by saying, essentially "stay tuned. There'll be lots of cool new Diablo news in the near future!". Coupled with the later news that the Diablo franchise was getting top show on the mainstage at BlizzCon, hype and speculation went through the roof... followed by a follow-up message only a week-ish before the Con saying "curb your enthusiasm".
It's been a roller coaster of emotions for the fandom over the last several months, and while it was partially the fandom's fault for getting worked up over all sorts of vagaries, the Diablo team didn't do a very good job of managing those expectations and they sorta set themselves up for failure on this one.
It is even worse when you remember what has happened to some of the outside projects. The big comic that was been writing by Marv Wolfman? Canceled and gone. The book of Adriana beastry? Banished to limbo, and we have no idea when or even if the thing will come out now. I really feel bad for the Diablo fans, I am not a big hardcore Diablo fan, though I do enjoy playing the games now and then. It just feels awful seeing this happen to them.
They really should have announced this at a Chinese based con like ChinaJoy, it would have really gone over much better there. Yet, instead they hype the thing up to their most hardcore, dedicated, PC player, fans. Going to Blizzcon is not easy. Getting the tickets alone is a big test, as they sell out fast, plus the price and then the money needed for travel, lodging and meals, all which are expensive.
It is pretty obvious that Diablo Immortal is more intended for the East Asian market, with just how big Cell Phone gaming is there. No matter what the Western Diablo fans think, this game will likely be a huge success there.
Just having it be the final announcement of the Opening Ceremonies was a huge miscalculation. Blizzard wanted something new to be the finisher, they tend to always do that. However, there have been Blizzcons where the last announcement wasn't a new thing. People may have not been as excited, but there would not be PR disaster. If they still wanted something new to announce at the end they should have just used WC3 Reforged. Yeah, it is not completely new, but considering the positive reception it has gotten, it would have been a safe move that would have left a lot of people happy.
Instead we have this situation with the Blizzard staff making things worse. We all have seen the stuff from the panels, but the news we have gotten from the interviews is not much better. Multiple people have asked flat out about micro-transactions, and Blizzard keeps ducking and evading the question. The idea that they have not decided on the monetary means to get the game right now is laughable. That was likely one of the first things they decided when then the game was approved. Same for questions regarding the game design, all we hear about is stuff regarding Diablo assets, and the original questions being ignored.
The game itself right now just looks cheap, with Diablo 3 stuff thrown on top of an existing game. Even having some new classes would have helped perception, instead of sticking with the Diablo 3 ones. The Amazon, for example, would have been perfect to reintroduce here.
Edited by Monocle, 05 November 2018 - 11:18 PM.