Path Of Exile Devs Have An Interesting Theory About Diablo 4's No-Show

It wasn't just fans who were gearing up for Diablo 4. Grinding Gear Games, the developers of Path of Exile and one of Diablo's most direct competitors, went into Blizzcon waiting for the demonic shoe to drop. It didn't, of course, and the Kiwi developers have some interesting thoughts about why that is.

In the latest episode of the Front Seat Cast podcast, which is put together by developers at Grinding Gear Games, GGG co-founder Jonathan Rogers said the Path of Exile studio was fully expecting Diablo 4 to drop. Rogers was also surprised at the degree to which the Diablo Immortal outrage had spread into the real-world.

But the theory posited by Rogers from 37 minutes in, which referenced some of our previous reporting on Diablo 4, is that Blizzard hasn't officially announced the game - because they may still be in the position where they need the ability to cancel the project outright, as they did with Titan.

"The thing that I find interesting about it ... why would you not just say you're working on Diablo 4? The only reason I can see is that they actually don't want to commit to making it," Rogers said. "And that implies that they're not sure if they're ever going to release it. But the thing is, you hear that and you're like, 'That can't be true, that cannot be true.' But I guess, you know, that sort of implies a certain amount of turmoil in it's development."

Rogers added that he hasn't heard anything personally to verify that, but he noted - as did the other Grinding Gears employees on the podcast - that he'd seen multiple high-level job postings for the Diablo team. "It kind of makes you just wonder, could there be so much turmoil there that they don't want to even announce they're working on it in case it gets cancelled?"

"The other thing that I also realise is that even if that's not the case, imagine if they announced they're working on D4 this Blizzcon. And then next Blizzcon comes along and they didn't have a proper announcement. That would be a really bad thing. So the implication then there, are they maybe not sure they could reach an announcement a year from now? And that would be the concern that would lead to them not wanting to announcement? Because otherwise you would think they would just say, we're working on this."

Rogers said GGG was "absolutely operating under the assumption" that Blizzard would announce Diablo 4 this Blizzcon, up until the recent blog post. "Path of Exile patch] 4.0.0 is designed to go up against D4, absolutely: we're operating under the assumption that we were going to have to bring our A-game with 4.0.0, because Blizzard would be announcing that."

As I noted at the time, the debacle around Blizzcon has stirred up an intriguing discussion not just about the franchise, but how developers discuss and announce games in general. For their part, and as someone operating in the same genre and in the same business more broadly, the Kiwi devs posited that Blizzard had gotten the messaging completely wrong and had lost touch with their fanbase.

"The way the PR has gone after [Diablo Immortal] ... that sort of bothered me a little bit. We all make mistakes about PR, it happens. But it is weird when you double down on that, which to some extent they have," Rogers said.

It's worth remembering, amongst all of this, that Diablo 3 has been insanely successful despite its initial critical failings. It was the 10th best selling video game in 2015, having shipped more than 30 million units, and sits behind Minecraft and PUBG as the third-highest selling game across PC, Mac and Linux at the time of writing (excluding free-to-play titles).

It might not have made more money to date than World of Warcraft, which didn't have the benefit of shipping on consoles, or the rapid popularity of Overwatch. But Diablo is still an enormous pillar for Blizzard symbolically, practically and financially, and what happens to that franchise is of intense interest.

"They're a hair's breadth away from saying it - they just keep saying multiple Diablo projects. Just say the thing! It's fine. If you say the thing, all of this controversy basically goes away. It's so silly to me," Nick Kolan, designer at Grinding Gear Games, said.

You can listen to the full episode of the Front Seat Cast above. For the rest of the episodes, head to the YouTube channel here, the official page.


Comments

    Just adding to their theory, I think its not just that they don't want to commit, but that they don't want to commit because of the core gameplay. I imagine its similar to other games coming soon that maybe aren't going down too well.

    Which means they might be pausing to see how they play out so they can either change tactics, or cancel altogether. Then have that decision blow up in their faces.

    Picture the scenario that its core is a semi persistent world, like Fallout 76. They've talked for years about a Diablo MMO, and small population games are a trend right now. It could easily be the focus. But FO76 hasn't exactly been well received.

    I can imagine them pausing at very short notice given the negative hype that's received in the past month. Changing from that sort of core would set them back years in development.

      I'm also thinking it's something along these lines.

      I imagine their desire to appease shareholders has probably led them to design a game almost entirely designed around lootboxes and microtransactions... but they've seen the market shift and realise how precarious this could be.

      I don't have any faith in their ability to deliver what I really want - the company is just too big nowadays. They aren't going to be happy making games which appeal to their oldschool core audience like me.

        They barely delivered what we wanted with Diablo 3 when you consider they launched it completely balanced around paying to get remotely useful gear.

        They fixed it with ROS but they have done nothing to earn any kind of trust since the release of that X-pack.

      Except the hate for Fallout 76 comes from Fallout's roots being a deeper RPG, and Fallout 4 barely delivered on that, so to make a game even more shallow upset the core audience. A semi-persistent world would work just fine for Diablo 4 as the game is built from a background of hack-n-slash looter. Diablo's world is very much atmosphere over narrative, which would fit right in with an open and explorable environment. They could easily do a hybrid system of persistent overworld and procedurally generated dungeons.

    Given the way the internet reacts to any kind of game news, especially if it's something that was announced well before its release, I'd be keeping my mouth shut too. The number of times a game developer has been crucified because something they said or showed a year or two ago is different to what they say or show today is somewhat disheartening.

      Yeah I'd much prefer to come along on the journey and see things potentially change as development rolls along than just not know or see anything because devs are worried about people losing their minds over shifts in direction.

      They can't be 'crucified' (some fuckwits will still complain, but some fuckwits complain that we think the earth is round or aren't acknowledging the liberal deep state lizard people - that dependable base level of criticism doesn't count as crucifixion and can safely be ignored) for showing something that's different to the end product if they don't show anything.

      An announcement of the title being in development - and that being the only detail - is in all but the weirdest circumstances, criticism-free because there's literally nothing about the information to criticize. See: Bethesda with TES6, CDPR with Cyberpunk.

      But even with the leaks that there was definitely a Diablo 4 trailer created (not necessarily that it was planned for Blizzcon), Blizz STILL won't commit to publicly acknowledging the existence of D4 in development. That's what we're dealing with, here. We know it's in development. We're not talking about revelations of any particulars about graphics, diversity, monetization, platforms, always-online, mechanics, whatever... they're refusing to commit even to acknowledging its existence.

      That's where the POE devs seem to have the right of it: You refuse to promise things if you know you can't commit to them. If Blizzard refuses to commit to something as minimal as the mere existence of Diablo 4, logically it's reasonable to assume that's because its existence is something that can't be guaranteed.

      ...Not as 'Diablo 4', anyway. It may be that whatever project in development that they were planning on calling Diablo 4 is why they keep saying 'Diablo projects,' as the planned 'sequel' may need to be re-branded as World of Diablo, or DiabloWatch, or Diablo 76 or whatever else indicates that this isn't the successor you were looking for (which is I guess what the other commenters are getting at).

        That's where the Diablo Immortal experiment is so interesting. It seems an absolute no-brainer that the future of Diablo is in some kind of persistent world, when you look at Acti/Blizzard's approach to games as a service, and just where you would take Diablo in general with modern engines and modern expectations. Pure speculation, of course.

        But it's also not the first time Blizz has tried to replicate that formula and come completely unstuck (Titan). The other route that seems logical would be a Diablo co-op FPS - almost Left 4 Dead-ish/loot-style shooter on the Overwatch engine - because that fits a lot of those games-as-a-service plans too.

          Really, they were already trying this with Diablo 3.

          The awful, useless itemization forcing players toward social engagement through the auction house (I believe them when they say the RMAH earnings were trivial and not a factor in their decisions). Always-online that absolutely did not need to be and which in fact introduced lag as a detrimental single-player experience for the first time in the series.

          Especially telling: the fact that an early patch deliberately changed '/general' chat to be turned on by default, and if turned off, re-activated every time you logged into the game; again, to introduce that social pressure of connectivity, cajole players into playing with others.

          Also, 'no-brainer' aside, you describe a very dark, terrible future that I wish to avoid.

            Always-online that absolutely did not need to be and which in fact introduced lag as a detrimental single-player experience for the first time in the series.

            Reasons I died in hardcore mode in D3:
            Made a mistake - 10%
            Wife opened Netflix without considering how it would affect me playing a single player game - 90%

            I don't believe them when they say RMAH earnings were trivial. Maybe on a per item basis, but across the board? On a related note, I think they could have retained the RMAH with a couple tweaks, like capping the sale price much, much lower and restricting what items could be sold. And honestly, I didn't see a problem with a gold AH. That said, I'm not upset they're gone.

            I don't recall any patch where /general was forced on whenever you logged in. I turned it off once and don't recall it activating again. I don't mind the option to "be social" being there, but yeah I'd prefer they focused on standalone play first. Including offline play.

              It was basically the first patch. 1.0.2. I'm not actually sure when it was removed, but it was, eventually. Much like many of the other bullshit features.

                I played from the start so I'd have run the various patches. I just don't recall seeing general popping back into existence each login. Maybe it did but I don't remember it, so I'm wondering whether it was actually a bug on some machines rather than a deliberate change?

                  Maybe 'not seeing it' was a bug. I just looked it up - it was implemented in 1.0.2, and un-done in 1.0.3. Its implementation was deliberate and intentional and featured in the patch notes. It was one of the big clues to their 'social pressure' philosophy.

                  Could be a bug either direction, as you point out.

              Depends on how they sell the story. If the money stayed in the system, Blizzard got nothing. But as soon as you withdrew any real profits, there were fees. Best I can see is about 15%, not sure if that was Blizzard, PayPal, or combined though.

              Not everything left the system that I remember, with residual values transferring to your general Blizzard account. Presumably to be used in the store, or for other Blizzard games.

              You can sell that in a few ways without lying, one of which is that they didn't make much money from the RMAH. How do you account for it is the real money is used to buy a product from a different Blizzard game for example. Technically they didn't make money from the AH, but from a different product... If they attribute that profit to that product, they shouldn't be expected to also attribute it to the RMAH as well.

              I think they made a nice net return as well, it wasn't costing them much so pretty much everything out was free money. I don't think it was as profitable as they wanted though. I doubt we'll ever know just how much it made for them.

            If done right I'd quite likely enjoy a Diablo MMO. I played D3 at launch for a bit, beat the game and then didn't touch it again until recently. Playing through now and seeing what they've done with it was so much fun. I loved the fast pace and OP builds Vs ever scaling content in rifts.

            I ended up playing for about a month, longer than I thought I'd last because I generally get bored of grinding stuff for no reason.

            If that same style and pace of gameplay was in an MMO it'd give me a reason to keep going rather than just some scoreboard I don't care about.

          It seems an absolute no-brainer that the future of Diablo is in some kind of persistent world Just so much they've said and done over the years supports it. Hell, Battle.Net is there because of Diablo, multiplayer has been core to Diablo since day one. So I keep coming back to more recent events being a big part of this.

          Which is why I keep coming back to FO76 being somehow involved. Its a similar level brand, with a similar demographic, and if there are any core similarities the last month must be concerning.

          And as both you and @transientmind say, not the first time they've walked this path. Whether its Titan or the RMAH lessons will have been learned with both.

          BTW, now you've got me thinking of DiablOverwatch... There are enough characters on both sides of Diablo's story that a Diablo skinned version of Overwatch might be interesting.

          But not right now.

          I'll add that multiple projects doesn't necessarily mean games, it could be movies, tv, comics. Or maybe a left field move like board games or miniatures. So it is still possible that D4 is not even on the table, though I doubt it.

          I'd honestly prefer to see an announcement and later a Titan style "no longer happening". That didn't provoke outrage, it may have saddened fans and created intense curiosity but I can't recall any reports of people *hating* blizzard for cancelling Titan.

            Titan was a totally new IP though, so there was no emotional attachment to it. Cancelling a Warcraft, Diablo, or StarCraft game once announced would generate a response from just about everyone.

            I'd prefer an announcement and refinements on the project later myself by the way, but if this debacle has taught me anything, its that people will over react to just about anything these days. There are no shades of grey. And an announcement then cancellation wouldn't be popular...

            Look at RDR2 for reference. Incredibly good game by so many measures, yet the first stories were all whinging about details people didn't like, or controls they obviously hadn't gotten used to, or something equally as negative.

            Not how good the game was, but that having to actually travel from location to location rather than fast travel was apparently game breaking.

              *points out Starcraft Ghost*

                Spinoff game in a different genre. Was pitched to a different market, so the core StarCraft audience didn't care it was canned.

                Announcing Diablo 4 then cancelling would be different. Its name alone makes in a game targeting the core audience - people that played D1 to D3. Canning that just wouldn't go down well.

                If StarCraft Ghost was an RTS, the backlash would have been massive. It wasn't though, so the typical StarCraft player wasn't effected.

                  I think it'd go down better than Immortal did. Largely because it leaves the door open. If they said "we've stopped work on D4 because we didn't think the game was up to scratch and we needed to rethink our strategy in order to make the best game possible" I think people would be disappointed but would mostly accept it. As opposed to "Hey we're making a game you don't want to play. Better go buy a phone blizzard slaves!"

              Look at RDR2 for reference. Incredibly good game by so many measures, yet the first stories were all whinging about details people didn't like, or controls they obviously hadn't gotten used to, or something equally as negative. Not how good the game was, but that having to actually travel from location to location rather than fast travel was apparently game breaking.

              I think we have incredibly different filters on our media content. The first weeks of RDR's release, all I saw was 'RSR2 is 10/10 GOTY, and here's why it deserves it'. The griping came later, after people had settled in for a while and the metaphorical pebble in the shoe had really started to wear on their patience. (Especially re: controls.)

      Have to wonder if it'd be worse than what happened by announcing a Mobile game to a PC/console based audience though.

    The Blizzard misstep was a most successful home goal in favour of PoE on PS4. Its devs must have laughed themselves to sleep that night.

      Maybe... but maybe I was too generous in the way I read it, but there's a quote in the interview that makes me think they'd be upset if D4 wasn't coming. And not just for the fact that it would mean they'd been busting their asses working to compete with something that wasn't going to happen.

      "The thing that I find interesting about it ... why would you not just say you're working on Diablo 4? The only reason I can see is that they actually don't want to commit to making it," Rogers said. "And that implies that they're not sure if they're ever going to release it. But the thing is, you hear that and you're like, 'That can't be true, that cannot be true.'"

      This quote makes me wonder if the PoE devs actually do like Diabo, for what it is, but prefer their own game for what Diablo isn't. It's possible to like both chocolate AND vanilla. Shame we didn't get to hear the tone of voice.

        Yeah I look at PoE and it comes across as people who liked Diablo and thought, 'like what this is doing, but here the depth I want to it'.

        Not to mention I think devs are way more grown up that average gamers, in the sense, they know the amount of work involved in making something a thing. So even if they dont like it, they can respect the work gone into it and they know that without the earlier Diablos, their whole genre of gaming might not have even existed.

        Shame we didn't get to hear the tone of voice.

        Well they did link the podcast in this article...

          Good point! Rather: Shame I can't listen to it during the day today. :)

      Did you see someone bought the domain "playdiablo4.com" and made it redirect to the POE homepage?

    You look up Development Hell, you will get the Blizzard logo.

    Every title they have ever developed takes forever before they announce it, and still take years after that... the funny thing the few games they even outsourced (to a Chinese company, and not their own Mobile company) had a working demo on the floor... while games like Hearthstone Diablo Overwatch and WoW have spent years in sandbox Betas cause Blizzard development methodology sucks! Even their sequels took forever.

    Think about it from concept to workable public demo... its the fastest game Blizzard has ever released :p maybe if anything Blizzard can learn from other developers to be more confident and develop games faster and cleaner... rather than getting stuck in the sandbox refusing to share their toys.

      On the other hand though they've started pushing content out to WoW even if it's not ready yet just so they can give players something....they've literally said something is better than nothing.

      Meanwhile players are crying out for the old Blizzard way of keeping it until it's done. they'd rather wait a few more months for polished WoW content than a rushed, buggy, poorly thought out and tested mess. BFA is atrocious compared to Legion. Legion had the advantage of more dev time because they cancelled a lot of WoD content to start on Legion early. BFA got rushed, has a short beta, nothing got fixed and it shows.

      Blizzard are capable of taking a long time to release a good product or spending a short time to release something that's poor quality. They have one extreme or the other.

        Agree BfA was rushed... but I think its the sandbox thats the problem. They need to build the games internally more before they invite everyone to kick sand in their face. The early access open hell pit that are Blizzard betas need to be reigned in.

        So I can see them delaying Diablo is a good thing... but are they really making Diablo IV or just playing in a sand pit dreaming avout their ideal game. The lack of commitment to make an annoucement is odd... after all its not a New IP but a sequel to an existing one.

        I wonder how many fans remember those days. When Its Done was their catchcry, and we got good products because of it.

        And now, ironically, by having an attitude along those lines is biting them. People no longer want a game When Its Done, they want the buggy mess with a Day Zero patch.

        Just on Legion, I've read in several places that the transfer of programmers to make it shine is one of the main reasons WoD fell short of expectations. The content was simply dropped, so the story didn't come together as planned. So players ended up with an expansion that was confusing as hell.

          I still think it comes down to communication and managing expectations.

          I'd happily wait for "when it's done" if they'd just tell us what's going on. Doesn't have to be in detail, but complete silence does not work.

          I also think the problem is not fans "wanting it now" so much as execs saying "where is our annual release? We need a pre-christmas game to bump profits for the quarter". And no one is pushing back saying "Sorry we need to wait till March to release it when it's ready."

          I dunno. "When it's Done" is fine, provided it's actually happening, which is what we don't know.

          I don't give a fuck about Diablo 4 details. I'd just rather hear, "Diablo 4 is in development, and will be released When It's Done," than, "We've taken a look at modern gaming trends and what makes us the most money have have decided that We Don't Make That Kind of Game Anymore."

          That's the alternative, here, not fears about how complete it will be.

            I think the root problem behind a lot of it is most game devs haven't grown with the times. So many fans say they don't care if stuff is messed up or it takes longer, they just want communication. The devs are still living in the past where everything is kept hushed up, they don't discuss what they're doing or why, they just do the work and push it out.

            It shows a lot when you get a small developer who releases a game that's a mess...they apologize on twitter, say they're working to fix it and fans put down the pitchforks and give them time and then thank them and make appreciation posts when it's done.....on the other end you get a AAA release that's a similar horrendous mess and it's radio silence from the devs so they get dragged over the coals wherever people are able to do it.

            I've seen it many times in the last few years...traditional devs need to wake up and realise their audience expect more communication and then actually deliver it....Blizz also often give lip service that they'll communicate more and then go back to being silent. Bungie are guilty of that too.

              I hear what you're saying here, but I'm not sure its always that easy. Happy Games communicated a lot with No Mans Sky, and look where that got them. People were picking and choosing the bits of communication they wanted to hear, and completely ignoring everything else.

              While there was plenty of blame to go around with that one, the communication was a central part of it, both on the giving and receiving ends. Plenty of developers would have looked at what went down and learned the lesson that too much communication is a bad thing.

                The main mistake they made there was saying things that flat out weren't true. Golden rule of business is under promise and over deliver. If you do that the other way around then your customer is never happy.

                That's a one-off case though and the communication issues I'm talking about have been going on since long before that.

    the only thing that will conceivably stop me from playing D4 is if it has the predatory micro-transactions shit, not that it can't be done well like in POE but i don't have confidence anymore that large companies can do it right.

    i wonder which developer will be the first to realise they can make money of people that have absolutely no disposable income by offering them the opportunity to sell a kidney or maybe an eye you don't need 2 eyes right....

      offering them the opportunity to sell a kidney or maybe an eye They sell your data. If people think big data is a problem now, its only going to get worse over the next 10 years.

      Dollars for data will happen sooner or later, its just a matter of which product drives it. Could be games, could be Facebook (moreso than it already is), could be your mobile GPS data.

      So imagine giving that data gives you game time, or some sort of credit with similar use. Plenty of people will happily sign their data over and not care how its used. I don't think we're that far from it myself.

        They already started doing that with the facebook integration into battle.net. Remember when it was going to be mandatory to have real ID and facebook linked? That was the start of it.

          Yup, and its not going to get better over the next few years. I've worked with data for a hell of a long time now, and watched as data has been more and more integrated into everything we do.

          Its not going to slow down, social media is speeding it up. And people aren't aware of how much they're actually saying.

            not me i don't have any social media

              If you put your email or mobile number onto a form its the same thing. Its only the collector that changes. Social media is the easy example with this, but its just about everywhere.

              As I said, people aren't aware of how much they're saying.

              To use myself as an example, I've done what I could to reduce my online presence, having seen this coming a decade ago. I rarely post on social media, but have a Facebook account to keep in touch with people.

              Google my surname though, and its 4 pages before I appear. I'm on a poker database because I cashed in a big tournament. I cant control that, because I had to register to play, and those results get collated globally.

              If someone gets access to that database, or they decide to onsell or use it, its going to have at least my mobile number and an email address. It should have my street address as well.

              That's enough breadcrumbs to link somewhere else.

            I honestly fear the day when the government realises there is money to be made from our data. They collect a wealth of information on us, census, medical records, tax info, driving licenses and so on. I feel like it's inevitable that someone will look at the deficit and look at all that data just sitting there and say "you know if we sold people medical details to a pharma company we could make a bunch of money."

            And it might even start relatively harmlessly with anonymized data so people won't complain too much. Until eventually GlaxoSmithKline are buying your personal data and targeting you with specific drugs.

            And of course the same thing will happen with the other data, you'll start getting adds from car companies or bike companies based on your driving license and tickets received. All the people with an income over 200k will be targeted by certain advertising while middle and lower income people will be hit with different schemes.

              Two ways it goes. One, privacy laws pretty much block any use like that, or two, outsourcing work means the data is out in the wild and susceptible to misuse.

              What makes you think they aren't making money off it now though? There are totally legal ways to do so, such as using all that data to find tax and benefit cheats.

              Or from a safety perspective, sift through your friends and family, and potentially stop crimes before they happen. That's a money saver, and it happens more than people realise. From a budget angle, money saved is money earned.

              Big data is a thing for a reason, and a LOT of big organisations, both public and private, are making plenty out of it. To the point they will soak up as much as we're willing to give. Which we do, voluntarily.

              People are slowly catching on - just look at the My Medical Records situation - but that's only when theres clearly a centralisation of data making an obvious target.

              Ray Martin was hosting A Current Affair when they did a story that pointed out the Govt had 210 databases holding info on us. That number would be 20 fold now or more, and cross referenced.

                Privacy laws restrict it *now*. But as you know the government can change laws as they see fit. They sneak nasty changes through all the time whether the public agree or not.

                I don't doubt that they're using data to save money already. And I *mostly* don't have a problem with it. Catching tax cheats is fine, as long as they're accurate. The tax debacles over the last couple years are an example where it's not ok.

                I'm referring to the outright sale of our data which I don't believe they're doing (yet). The myhealth thing is what brought it to mind because I've opted out in the last few days.

                I think you're giving the Govt more credit than is due when you talk about cross referenced DBs. Used to work in State Govt and yeah we had literally 100s of DBs. But 99% of them weren't cross-referenced. Even ones that *should* have been. Such a mess with duplication of data, out of date information and conflicting information between DBs. But that is their goal ultimately - everything linked and cross-referenced.

                  But as you know the government can change laws as they see fit Oh, definitely. Events like the Cambridge Analytica scandal might push them to ease up privacy laws, and once heading down that slope its pretty easy to get to where selling our data without our consent is fine. It may even be inevitable.

                  I think you're giving the Govt more credit than is due when you talk about cross referenced DBs I don't. My role looks at so many data sources its not funny, all sent to the ATO because its required by law. Not all of it is directly linked to someone either; part of the job is to find who it links to.

                  But over time we've refined all that information to the point we get a pretty good picture of someone before we even make a phone call.

                  Without going into a long post again, things like your TFN, ABN, ACN, drivers licence, medicare card, phone number, or email address are all breadcrumbs you use without thinking.

                  Maybe its not directly linked to someone, but that information is out there. Its usually just a matter of knowing where to look. Tieing it together isn't really needed, but it wouldn't take much.

                  I expect it'll happen anyway. Theres just too much there already for it not to be considered, and more happening each year.

                  Ah ok, you're talking about cross referencing existing data. I thought you were talking about integrated systems where you could query everything from one point. Yeah we had to deal with that pretty regularly. The number of critical "databases" that were in Access or Excel OMG!

                  As a developer and someone who worked on DBs it was frustrating knowing the data existed in 5 different systems but having to export from each one and then compile it rather than just being able to query all of them at once.

                  As a private individual I'd be horrified if someone could just query my name and pull it all out with one button push.

            I feel like it'll get worse before it gets better, but hopefully the advertising bubble finally pops and takes big data down with it. Right now data seems to have that buzzword level of inflation, but is it significantly more practical than targeted advertising and relatively safe assumptions?
            I know it has other uses but I'm really struggling to think of a single case where video game players data had a meaningful impact beyond just optimising how AAA and trashware games treat their players. That has some to a very small group of companies, but then they have to decide if it's worth the bad PR to act on that data. Politics I suppose, but again it seems like they're only optimising things that were already accurately estimated.

              It'll normalise at some point, its just a matter of where. It may be that theres just so much information that everything blurs together. So we just end up getting a little better tailored advertising and that's the end of it.

              Or we end up in a disturbing world like Wreck it Ralph 2's internet where we're bombarded at all hours with 12 things at once. Number 11 will amaze you...

              Or worse, someone gets hold of all that information and its enough to steal millions of identities...

    It was all downhill after non-Blizzard games started showing up in the Battlenet client without any way to hide or disable them, really.

    It seems pretty clear to me that Blizzard is working on an MMO game for Diablo on the PC. So why announce D4, when you are making Diablo: World of Sanctuary?

    I expect the game to be a lot more like Lost Ark is than PoE or D3 to be honest. I think the isometric single player MMOARPG is the future of the genre, and I am excited to see Blizzards IP go toe to toe with Lost Ark.

    In the meantime, everyone knew that PoE has locked down the traditional ARPG, there is no point competing with them, they are just to good!

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