Blizzard is experiencing an unprecedented backlash when it closed BlizzCon with the news that Diablo was coming to mobile. Almost 30,000 fans have already added their names to a petition calling on Blizzard to cancel the project.
"Blizzard does not care about the community anymore," the petition states. "This is an outrage and a spit in the face of the Diablo community. Sign this petition to show them how disappointed we are!"
Diablo Immortal is the series’ mobile debut. Co-developed with Chinese partner NetEase, the team promises it will be a "living, breathing, and constantly evolving" addition to the MMO franchise. However, despite promises of new character classes and storylines, a number of fans are upset and angry that Blizzard closed BlizzCon on this announcement when the community had been very much expecting either confirmation of a remaster, or a peek at Diablo 4.
There’s also considerable frustration that this latest Diablo game is not coming to PC or consoles, despite the series’ roots in PC gaming. Others fear Immortal is little more than a reskinned version of another NetEase mobile game, Crusaders of Light (thanks, Eurogamer).
Fans have flooded social media and r/diablo with criticism of both the announcement and the game itself. One fan stood up in BlizzCon’s Q&A session and asked if the announcement was "an out of season April Fools’ joke", while on YouTube, Blizzard’s official cinematic trailer for Diablo Immortal has (at the time of writing) been "disliked" 388,000 times, balanced with just 15,000 likes.
Blizzard has been clear that it has "multiple teams working on different Diablo projects", some of which could well include a sequel or remaster, and has reiterated this following the Immortal fallout.
"They love what they love and want what they want," Blizzard co-founder Allen Adham told Kotaku, reflecting on the response from fans. "That passion, it’s actually what drives us, and we feel it too… I understand their feeling and wish we could share more about all the amazing things we’re doing, not just with the Diablo franchise but across the company as a whole."