Blizzard Scrapped Plans For Diablo 4 Video [Correction]

Concept art from Diablo Immortal (Image: Blizzard)

When Blizzard’s sole Diablo announcement at this year’s BlizzCon turned out to be a game for phones, it set off a firestorm of angry reactions from fans who had hoped for a new Diablo on PC. But what about Diablo 4?

UPDATE: This article originally stated that Blizzard had recorded a video, planned for BlizzCon, in which co-founder Allen Adham talked about a new Diablo game. Although we can confirm that the video was made, Blizzard disputes that it was planned for BlizzCon.

Blizzard Says It Wasn't Expecting Fans To Be This Angry About Diablo Immortal

Yesterday, during a BlizzCon Q&A shortly after the announcement of mobile game Diablo Immortal, a fan in a red shirt approached the mic. "Just was wondering," he said in a deadpan tone, "is this an out-of-season April Fool's joke?" The audience cheered.

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“First off we want to mention that we definitely hear our community. We generally don’t comment on rumors or speculation, but we can say that we didn’t pull any announcements from BlizzCon this year or have plans for other announcements. We do continue to have different teams working on multiple unannounced Diablo projects, and we look forward to announcing when the time is right.”

However, two people familiar with Blizzard’s plans confirmed that the company had indeed recorded a video in which co-founder Allen Adham spoke to fans about a new Diablo project. What’s in dispute here is the timing. We had originally reported that it was planned for BlizzCon, but it’s possible that those plans were simply discussed and never solidified. (Either way, the video never came out.)

We can confirm that Diablo 4 is indeed in development. One of those sources told me that the Diablo team wasn’t yet ready to commit to an announcement, as Diablo 4 has changed drastically over the past four years and may continue to change further. (We’ve heard it’s gone through at least two different iterations under different directors.)

We apologise for any misinformation and have updated this story accordingly.

At last Friday’s keynote, Blizzard revealed Diablo Immortal to a quiet, uncomfortable crowd and then ended the show. For most of the weekend, Diablo fans raged online as a result, expressing their anger on YouTube and various forums. There were a few reasons for the controversy, but the driving factor was that the company’s sole Diablo announcement was a game that appeared to be made for a very different audience than hardcore Diablo fans.

On October 17, two weeks before BlizzCon, Blizzard put out a blog post that essentially told fans Diablo 4 was in the works but would not be at the show. “These are very exciting times—we currently have multiple teams working on different Diablo projects and we can’t wait to tell you all about them . . . when the time is right,” the company said. “We know what many of you are hoping for and we can only say that ‘good things come to those who wait,’ but evil things often take longer.”

Diablo III launched in May 2012, and its first and only expansion, Reaper of Souls, followed in March 2014. Since then, new updates have been scarce, with an occasional new content patch arriving sporadically and a Necromancer character pack hitting in 2017. Last Friday, Diablo III also came to the Nintendo Switch.


Comments

    Suuurrrrreeeee it did.

    Sounds more like Damage Control to me.

    "Quick. 'Leak' to the media that D4 is coming"

    Last edited 06/11/18 7:08 am

      So transparent huh? And the line 'Blizzard said it did not immediately have comment on the story' ... I can just imagine their thinking 'OK, that'll make it look like it was a leak, but we're kind of confirming it too! We're so clever!'

        If it was true, they'd have done an Overwatch style "Hat in hand" video apologizing for misunderstanding the player's desires for the game and reveal the trailer they were going to show.

    Bullpoopies.

    They said "multiple PROJECTS", not "games". That can be any number of different sheet. That lame-o animated Netflix series for starters, those lame-o cancelled comics, a new novel, even Black Soulstone-shaped kinky toys quality-assurance-tested by Kotick himself.

      Blizzard refers to them internally as projects cause the way they work... Project Titan was suppose to be some superhero MMO and its now Iverwatch a conpetitive FPS.

      That said even if they had nothing to say a screensplash and a paragraph is all they needed to feed the starving masses... it worked for Bethesda when they announced the next Elders Scroll post Skyrim with a few bits of concept art and a fictionalfantasy location name... then they announced a mobile game coming soon. It went better that way.

    This just seems like damage control now. If they really had something to tease with, they could have just posted it.

    Nintendo has shown a mere logo in the case of Metroid Prime 4 or a very tiny teaser after Isabell's reveal in Smash for Animal Crossing Switch, and that was enough for fans to go nuts with joy because at least they knew games they wanted to play were coming.

    It wouldn't have taken much for Blizzard to have just shown a logo or simple CG teaser, it wouldn't have improved the reception of Diablo Immortal much but at least people could've left the show knowing better things were coming.

      I guess they couldn’t show a teaser logo because ‘it might have set unrealistic expectations about the quality of the game.’

      *eyeroll*

      Bullshit cop-out, obviously. But it makes me wonder why.

      Is it because announcing that you’re working on something means that you have to start answering questions about it and they weren’t ready to start answering (or not-answering) them? Does it set off a clock ticking towards some undefined deadline they weren’t ready to face? Dealing with complaints about yet another four years of development? Fielding scrutiny over the supposed massive overhauls in direction or teams?

      I want to know what they were so afraid of that they couldn’t even whisper its name.

        I keep having the thought go through my mind that theres another big game coming out next week that may be playing a bigger role in this than we realise.

        Fallout 76 hasn't had the smoothest of runs, so what if the major new Diablo project is a similar game? As in a small multiplayer online setup, focusing on the players. I can easily see that being a next step in Diablo, and if so, any similarities are going to get blasted right now.

        It may simply be that they don't want to give ANY info about the game until FO76 releases, so they know whether to keep going or drastically change the game.

        Still a copout, but I can easily see it being something like that, and with Blizzards track record, shouldn't really be a surprise. They've dragged out development on more than one project over the years.

    Bullpoopies.

    They said "multiple PROJECTS", not "games". That can be any number of different sheet. That lame-o animated Netflix series for starters, those lame-o cancelled comics, a new novel, even Black Soulstone-shaped kinky toys QA-tested by Kotick himself.

    They are taking their fans for a ride. They have been for a looong time. They are a developer with more resources than they have ever had, releasing fewer games than they ever have. They are the perfect analogy of resting in your laurels.
    I mean Hearthstone, overwatch & Diablo are very addictive, but come on... they are fractions of a game. And the former two titles are designed for one thing and one thing only - to siphon as much money from their player base as possible. The latter tried and failed with the auction house. /end rant

      they are fractions of a game
      If you hadn't noticed, that's the trend lately. Rocket League is soccer, cut down to 1v1 to 4v4 rather than 11v11. PUBG is a single map, as is Fortnite. Overwatch has no real campaign that I've heard of, but it might be there - never played it. Bt that's not its focus even if it is.

      The biggest games of recent years are only part of a game, taken to extremes. And people keep flocking to them, so what do you think companies do? They try to get in on the act. You cant blame companies for jumping on the trend, its what they do.

      siphon as much money from their player base as possible
      Also kind of what companies do. Some are better at it than others.

        This isn't directed at you, just kinda riffing off what you said.

        People seem to be confusing 'small game' or 'game with specific focus' with 'not a whole game'. Games don't have to be enormous to be complete, and small games aren't 'fractions of a game' because they're small. Ditto for games with a specific focus.

        It's cool if people like big expansive games, I do too. But the implication that anything less than that is somehow inferior or greedy is just silly.

          Fair points. I wasn't ragging on it, just reflecting that its the current trend. Niche games can do the same, just look at how many retro/pixel art games we've had thrown at us in the past couple of years.

          To use Fortnite, its in that 'not a whole game' situation, but theres little doubt its a AAA title at the same time. It wouldn't be where it is if it wasn't. And given how they've kept it fresh over the last year, proof of what you say.

            I mean, Fortnite is two games. One is their somewhat original riff on survival games. The other is a total rip off of a popular game.

        I don't disagree with your overall sentiment, but I do want to point out that PUBG has THREE maps, not one, and Fortnite's map is constantly changing with dynamic events that are ongoing.

        Not that I play either of those games anymore.

          Fair call, I haven't played it since it was just one map. You could argue that its popularity was on the slide by the time the second map was released though. The Miramar map launched Dec 2017, while Fortnite had really taken off by then.

          I'm not being negative on these games by the way, they show that limiting to just a core concept can really work. I was pointing out that its a trend in recent years, and that Blizzard is known for jumping on trends. Usually releasing a genre defining title in the process, or at least something in the conversation.

        That argument is really weak against Overwatch. It has many characters, maps and modes, has mature features and is very polished. Just because it's multiplayer only doesn't make it a fraction of a game. Compare it to a "whole" game like Medal of Honor 1 with it's full single player campaign and local multiplayer and Overwatch still has more content. Similar applies to most of the games you've listed. I've got 245 Hours on PUBG which is more than a lot more than other "whole" games

          Again, I wasn't attacking the games. I'm not saying these games are lesser experiences, I'm saying they've managed to get back to what we played a generation ago, where things were just one focus. In Overwatchs case, squad on squad shooter, not unlike Unreal Tournament.

          But compare it to something like CoD: Black Ops 2, with a campaign, online, and zombie mode, and some of those aren't there. What IS there is better than the comparable option, and overall ends up being as good or better, depending on who you talk to. But whats there is just variations on one theme.

          Limiting the focus can work. The examples listed show that. But by its nature, its still a limitation. That doesn't make it a weakness, and people arguing with me need to stop thinking I'm saying that. These games allow themselves to just make that component as good as possible, and as entertaining as possible. And clearly do so.

      I think Valve takes the cake with this one. No other gaming company I know of has squandered so much potential and shown nothing for it. Blizzard are a paragon of productivity in comparison to Valve.

    If D4 ever comes out, it will follow the same business model as the current trend anyway. Filled with some form of micro transaction and jammed with silly shit for kids. I understand that drastic changes can be made to core game elements, but more likely the drastic changes would have been made to the business models, maybe going from xpac design to sub to mtx.

    I have a feeling that Mike Morhaime was the one holding back the Activi$ion money grabbing flood gates and finally gave up or was asked to resign. It's all downhill from here..

      So you're saying it'll be like how Diablo III was at launch, before Blizzard backed away from the RMAH?

    So this person I can’t tell you about totally told me Blizzard were going to tease the game everyone wanted but for reasons my special friend couldn’t tell me they chose not to. I can’t tell you who my super secret source is so you’ll just have to trust me.

      Cultivate a few years worth of stories broken on the basis of unrevealed sources who have nonetheless proven to be correct like Jason Schrier has, and you just might deserve that trust!

      Almost as though protection of confidential sources is part of every journalism ethics code that exists. It's hypocritical to complain that Kotaku journalists are bad on one hand, while complaining that they're upholding a core ethic of the job (as any good journalist should do) on the other.

      While I share the cynicism of everyone in the comments, it appears YOU are correct.
      There's an IGN article out where Blizzard claim they did not pull any announcements from Blizzcon.

    what they SHOULD have announced was "We are bringing D3 to mobile, you can continue your hardcore online experiences from your PCs and consoles on-the-go, and it's absolutely free if you have purchased the game already"

    Jason, I love you, but no. I can't believe this for a second. Sorry.

      Especially now that Blizz has come out and said this is not true at all...

        Not exactly. I've posted a correction: the short of it is that the video exists, but was not produced for Blizzcon, Blizzard says.

        Diablo 4 is still in production, we're told. Full details above.

          Don't get me wrong, I know Blizzard have plenty of Diablo content in the works, but yeah, the timing of all this didn't seem right. Thanks for the correction, Alex.

    FYI: We've posted a correction above. The long and short of it is that while D4 is in development, and an announcement video was made (which we can confirm), Blizzard disputes it was produced for Blizzcon. Full details above. I've also posted out a correction notice on Facebook and Twitter so everyone is aware the correction is up.

    I call upon the mods to honour Blizzard and delete some more comments. You there Alex Walker, give it a shot.

      I don't know. Someone said he only works part time but he wasn't this shy before.

        You might like to check out the community guidelines, they're pretty clear on what's not allowed. That whole chain that got deleted started with a root comment that was a personal attack, so not really surprising it was removed.

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