Blizzard disappointed its most vocal players during BlizzCon 2018 earlier this month, failing to announce a fourth main Diablo game while also revealing the mobile-exclusive Diablo Immortal. It appears, however, that development on Diablo IV hasn’t exactly been smooth thus far, in and the current version of the game has only been in the works for two years.
According to a report from Kotaku on the Diablo franchise and leadership shakeups at Blizzard, the fourth Diablo game began as something much different than the previous three in the franchise. After troubles launching Diablo III and the cancellation of an unannounced second expansion, development shifted to a project that resembled Dark Souls more than the other Diablo games.
The game was being led by Josh Mosqueira, who directed the Reaper of Souls expansion, but he eventually parted with Blizzard and the project, code-named “Hades,” was canceled. In its place is the current iteration of Diablo IV, which reportedly resembles the other titles but with a focus on darker, creepier imagery to contrast it with Diablo III. The camera angle hasn’t been finalized but it is currently using the isometric style fans know. Development on the new version of the game began in 2016, and it appears to be going much more smoothly.
Over the years, Diablo III has almost turned into Blizzard’s Skyrim in terms of the sheer number of platforms it’s on. Originally launched for PC and Mac in 2012, it then came to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, then to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and then to Nintendo Switch just a few weeks ago. The newest version, bundled as The Eternal Collection, include all previously released DLC, including Reaper of Souls, and the game continues to be updated with new content. After more than six years, however, players are definitely ready for the next chapter, hopefully free of the launch woes that plagued its predecessor.
In the meantime, perhaps Diablo Immortal will turn out better than the naysayers predict. The game’s development shouldn’t affect other Diablo games, and could perhaps spur even more interest in a franchise that has placed quality over quantity for over a decade.
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