So this is crazy, and I feel crazy for posting it, but that’s why I figured I’d post it to a conspiracy thread. As many know Diablo had a main stage announcement this year at Blizzcon. Front and center! First panel of the weekend after the opening ceremonies! To a lot of people that meant something big and, while they openly denied the idea of a Diablo 4 announcement, they didn’t push away any other theories or hype that came up. As people also probably know the announcement went… Less then stellar. Activision Blizzard announced their brand new, amazing, next stage Diablo game! Diablo: Immortal! A mobile game. To the, to put it nicely, disapproval of the crowd. Now here’s my theory. It could be very flawed as I’m tired and really only half paid attention to my research so feel free to point to things that I got wrong due to that, and please provide links if you can so I can read up more.
1. At the end of the 2000-2010 decade Activision Blizzard (the Activision side) bought out majority shares in the Activision Blizzard company. Prior to that riiiight around the same time we got SC2 and shortly before we got Diablo 3.
2. Diablo 3 launches and has a tacked on real money auction house, which Diablo fans force down and destroy pushing it out of the game and defeating an… poor attempt to monetize a Diablo game which was likely in production too far to rework heavily after the takeover.
3. Hearthstone is produced and released, the first inclusion of the ability to purchase “packs” in a Blizzard game, the in game crafting system is juuuuust bad enough that, in order to be competitive, you have to grind and grind *or* just spend 20 bucks on packs!
4. We get Heroes of the Storm! A casualized MobA which digs into the genre and is fairly heavily monetized from what I understand of it.
5. Overwatch! Blizzards first massive new IP AND! The invention of Lootboxes, or rather their popularization. While the in game system provides somewhat, it’s still difficult without *extensive* play time to get the cosmetics you really want. Again, a fairly well skinned money printing game which has, as the game has gone on, been getting more and more frustration from it’s base, as I’m aware.
6. I’d add stuff in about WoW as I’ve heard some horrifying stuff about the changes there but… I also know that every new edition has had a lot of complaint and controversy. Haven’t looked into it any.
7. We get a pretty hyped up, but slight attempt to lower the hype, announcement of a Mobile Game for Diablo as the next step for Diablo! But don’t worry cause there are “multiple Diablo projects in development”.
Since Activision “took over” Blizzard their only failed attempt to monetize a game was the Diablo release. It had a lot of issues but part of it was just the backlash of that core “Blizzard” crowd of gamers, what is essentially the heart of their players. Starcraft has always been a more competitive thing. Warcraft was killed with WoW and that new generation are already used to massive grinding to get what they need and an in game real money auction house. So that leaves Diablo, the only people who resisted Activisions monetization of their franchise, as stated above. Stracraft has been ESports pushed hard since 2010 ish and I’m sure they rake in cash from that at this point.
Another important note is anyone with any business awareness or market awareness should realize that a mobile game is a huge disappointment for a majority PC/Console crowd. It can be done, but needs to be presented carefully and definitely not as “the next thing” the way the crew who were presenting it did. On the crews note, they didn’t really seem to want to be there, their whole presentation reaked of “Oh god why me” mentality.
All this makes me wonder, it’s nearly impossible for a company that big, which makes that much money, not to realize how big a negative response they would get from this would be. It’s almost like…
*They’re trying to alienate the Diablo audience*
Remember they have “multiple” diablo projects in the works. Is it possible Activision intentionally made this display to alienate that audience and start pushing out the people who are most likely to resist their monetization of the Diablo franchise, while simultaneously desensitizing people who do stick around to heavy monetization in a Diablo game. This way whatever they put into the next actual Diablo game is “minor” in comparison, on the surface.
Am I just crazy?
There’s also been talk of the game looking basically like a reskin of an already existing game. I haven’t looked into that but, even if it weren’t, a mobile game would be a fairly cheap (as compared to other platforms) way to intentionally fuck something up. If you wanted to intentionally flop a game, mobile would be the way to go.