Diablo fans could’ve had a completely different reaction had the original plan gone through at BlizzCon. Blizzard Entertainment’s sole Diablo announcement at the convention, revealing the mobile game Diablo Immortal, was met with vocal ire by portions of its fanbase, partially because the game simply wasn’t the true sequel that fans had been hoping for — and, fans assumed, had been teased for months.
With no word on a fourth proper Diablo entry, Diablo Immortal felt like a betrayal of the franchise to some and a cheap consolation prize to others. But it wasn’t planned that way.
According to a Kotaku report, Blizzard was supposed to use the mobile game’s reveal as a launchpad for its first official Diablo 4 tease, but that was scrapped at the last minute. Kotaku’s sources say the presentation was supposed to end with a video featuring Blizzard co-founder Allen Adham solidifying plans for a Diablo 4 while assuaging fans wanting to see footage. Boom, all not-so-goodwill from the mobile game erased.
However, that video was pulled in the last few weeks, possibly due to instability on the Diablo team. The main squad has reportedly featured plenty of turnover and creative turmoil during development, some of which may have been factors in delaying the game’s announcement further. That would make sense if the higher-ups at Blizzard were still uncertain if the final game would ever see the light of day, or if the form it took at release would be wildly different than anything they might tease in these stages.
Rather than publicly address these issues, all the company did was assure its fans that multiple Diablo games are in the works... though at what point they scrap Diablo 4 or announce it officially seems to rest entirely on the company’s faith in the product that aims to follow up 2012’s Diablo III — good PR be as damned as the games’ titular antagonist.