Blizzard fans have had a worrying couple of years as executive shakeups, mass layoffs, and a reported Activision directive toward speedier development suggest cultural change at the studio – and all those factors were keenly felt during the announcement of the mobile-only Diablo Immortal at last year’s BlizzCon.
“First and foremost,” Blizzard boss J Allen Brack tells Gamespot, “I think the thing that did not get communicated, and I can’t say enough, is that we are a PC developer that also looks for opportunities on other platforms.”
Brack says “we had a very honest look at ourselves, post-BlizzCon, to look at the fan reaction. It’s the task of trying to understand really deeply, that reaction. We did not do a good job in assuaging our core fanbase that we’re not abandoning PC for mobile and console. That part of the message did not get communicated in a way that I think, if we could go back, we would do.”
While Diablo Immortal was the biggest point of the backlash, Brack says there was also pushback when Diablo 3 went to consoles. “We are a PC developer first,” Brack says, but “then we look for other platforms that we think are awesome that can support the types of game play experiences that resonate with the type of games and values that we want to put forth into the world.”
Brack says “if we didn’t think that we could make great games on a mobile platform, we wouldn’t do it.” There are reports that we’ll see Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 at BlizzCon this year, so there’s a big chance that Blizzard will fire back with some traditional hits very soon.