Blizzard’s been taking quite a lot of heat lately after the reveal of Diablo Immortal, and the lack of a reveal for Diablo 4. Fan backlash resulted in Activision Blizzard’s stock briefly tanking, views that the game was simply a way for Blizzard to tap into the Chinese market (which has a huge mobile gaming base), and people (including Wendy’s) taking a shot at Blizzard.
But the question remains: Where’s Diablo 4?
Put your rumour hat on, because this is where things get interesting. According to a report by Kotaku (yeah, I know), Diablo 4 has had several iterations. One version of the game, codenamed “Hades”, saw the game as a hardcore dungeon crawler, but would drop the isometric perspective camera, and take on Dark Souls‘ over-the-shoulder camera. That version was started after Blizzard cancelled a second expansion for Diablo III, but was ultimately canned itself.
The second iteration, codenamed Fenris, is the one that’s currently in development. Fenris began at the same time as the Rise of the Necromancer DLC, and reportedly returns to the darker visual style of Diablo II. The challenge facing Blizzard (according to the report), however, is to balance between older fans (like myself) who grew up on D2‘s aesthetic, but also avoid alienating those who got into the franchise via Diablo III, which has a brighter, more stylized visual style.
Regardless of the degree to which all of this is true, it’s not unheard of for games like this to go through different iterations before landing on that magic version. the issues with Diablo Immortal are still justified, but until we get more info on the game (and Diablo 4), we just have to wait and see what happens.