Despite Blizzard’s clear warnings that fans should “temper their expectations” regarding any announcements made at BlizzCon this year, the internet has gone nuclear over Diablo Immortal, a fully fledged version of the popular ARPG for iOS and Android mobiles.
The announcement came at the end of today’s BlizzCon keynote address/show-and-tell and it was hard not to notice the air leaving the room. I’ve been at enough live announces to know that the moment you bring up mobile is the moment the energy in the room drops to zero. Diablo Immortal is, nevertheless, an interesting title for a few reasons.
1) No-one’s ever tried to bring an ARPG to mobile before on a scale like this. 8 zones, some new, some old. 6 playable classes with 12 upgrades each, 5 of which can be equipped at any time. 6 player multiplayer. Instanced dungeons. MMO hubs. Blizzard and Chinese partner developer Netease appear to be trying to create a complete Diablo experience that can live in your pocket.
2) It looks prettier than Diablo III. On a mobile. I can’t say for sure if that’s true or not, but it certainly looks higher poly.
3) It’s set five years after the destruction of the Worldstone, which sets it in the years between the end of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and the beginning of Diablo III.
4) Regardless of how you feel about a mobile Diablo, the good news is that it means Blizzard is still thinking about the series and how to keep it fresh. Diablo 4 is coming, keep your pants on.
Diablo Immortal has no release date as of press time and seems like it still may be a ways off. It’s coming to iOS and Android mobile devices.