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.
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.
“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.