Full disclosure here. I am not a “fan” of the Diablo series. I don’t have a feeling either way towards the series as I only played Diablo III on PS4 for about an hour and then moved onto something else. I fully recognize what the series is, one that’s been treasured for decades now and has had a real resurgence since Diablo III came out and has continued to be relevant since. I’ve got friends who still play it religiously and I’m glad to see an old series is still capable of being that good in the eyes of those who stand behind it.
However, it appears that Blizzard has decided to really test their fanbase on this series with the new mobile version of the game, Diablo Immortal. Now at first glance, I thought it was a cool idea. After all, Diablo seems like a great game to translate into mobile form, allowing fans of the series to be able to take the game on the go with them and also open the series up to new fans. Business-wise, it makes sense and in terms of the player base, it sounds like it should work.
But it hasn’t.
In fact, the reaction has been mostly negative it would appear. And thus we’ve started another war between gamers and games journalists, with several articles coming out post-BlizzCon calling fans of Diablo “entitled gamers”, “whiny, spoiled brats” and much more. On the flip side, the social media outrage, the endless stream of memes and angry rant videos, they keep pouring in from the gamers’ side.
So to me, a non-fan who’s on the outside looking in, after taking in these first few days of reaction, what are my thoughts?
Well for starters, once again I’m absolutely appalled by the flood of non-critical outrage from both sides. Again, games journalists are slapping their audience in the face, calling them children, spoiled, entitled, whatever else they like throwing around. Hell, I’ve seen articles somehow attributing this outrage to toxic masculinity, sexism and misogyny. Cause y’know, that’s still the flavour of the day with those folks. I don’t know why we have to keep explaining this, but to any games journalist worth their salt, how can you so easily bash your own viewership constantly like this? It’s pathetic and appalling.
On the flip side though, there’s the other morons. Dear moronic gamers: HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO TELL YOU TO STOP SENDING DEATH THREATS?!!!
I mean seriously, what the fuck?! I get it, Blizzard is trying to hop on the microtransaction train and use your favourite series to do so. It’s shitty and they shouldn’t have used the main stage of BlizzCon (which let’s be honest, it’s not a convention, it’s a marketing event) to crush your hopes of Diablo IV and instead pump out a not-so inspired looking Diablo game that apparently according to some is a blatant copy/paste of Chinese mobile game, Crusaders of Light, which was made by the same company who is developing Diablo Immortal. Take that as you will.
But let’s be honest, folks. Is this worth getting so upset that we need to be sending death threats over it? If you said anything other than “Uh, the correct answer is there’s no reason to send death threats to people…”, YOU’RE WRONG!!!
In the end, as someone who doesn’t have a horse in the Diablo race, I’m okay with the game existing. What I’m not okay with, is the backlash Blizzard and journalists are sending towards gamers who are being critical about the game and who are, quite honestly, disappointed that the new Diablo isn’t another grand adventure like the previous games have been, it’s just an uninspired mobile game that will be rifled with microtransactions.
And as a gamer, no one should be happy with that result. Period.