Blizzard goes mobile-only for massively multiplayer ‘Diablo Immortal’

Blizzard announced a new Diablo game, but it’s not Diablo 4, and it’s not coming to either PC or console. The new game is Diablo Immortal and it will be coming to your phone.

Though it looks like Diablo 3 in its art style, the new Diablo Immortal will be entirely separate and designed entirely for the smartphone. An early look at the game on the Blizzcon main stage showed familiar action-RPG gameplay with smartphone controls consisting of on-screen buttons.

The familiarity continues in the classes. Players will be able to select from the Crusader, Wizard, Monk, Demon Hunter, and Barbarian. This selection is entirely borrowed from Diablo 3 (though some classes were in earlier Diablo games, too). Not every class is coming over to Diablo Immortal, however, as the Witch Doctor is notably absent.

Though it’s a new game, Diablo Immortal is also a prequel, as it will take place between the end of Diablo 2 and beginning of Diablo 3. About 20 in-game years passed between those two titles, leaving a lot of empty space for new stories centered on popular characters. Blizzard wasn’t firm on details about the story, but it seems to be a collection of individual smaller stories centering on a variety of settings and characters.

While the mobile game is true to the Diablo style in many ways, there is one notable departure, and that’s in multiplayer. Unlike past Diablo games, Immortal will be massively multiplayer, with persistent outdoor zones populated by other players. This also means you won’t be limited to a four-player party but instead can form much larger dungeons. We saw up to eight players in the gameplay cinematics shown at Blizzcon.

It appears this will also have some influence on the game’s overall design, too. Blizzard’s “Diablo: What’s Next” sessions detailed how the world will include specifically designed dungeons built for parties in mind. That’s not all that different from past Diablo games — dungeons have always been part of it — but they’ve generally been built to scale for between one to four players, and not specifically for groups.

More information is coming out Blizzcon, but one thing is clear, this isn’t a small game. There appears to be a significant amount of content for Diablo Immortal. Hopefully, that means it will be an exception to the stereotype of shallow mobile games.

Pricing and a release date were not announced, but we do know it’ll be available for iPad, iPhone, and Android.

Oh, and don’t forget, Diablo 3 was just released for Switch, and it’s pretty great.

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