At Blizzcon last week, renowned game developer Blizzard announced that it is releasing a mobile addition for its popular hack-and-slash RPG franchise Diablo, titled Diablo Immortal. While an onlooker might expect that fans of the series would be excited to hear more about a new game in their favorite franchise, the reality is, this announcement caused a massive backlash.

The primary reason behind this backlash and intense reactions from the gamer community is because Diablo Immortal will be a mobile exclusive. Apparently, making mobile games is an unforgivable cardinal sin.

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Diablo Immortal caused an outrage among fans

Blizzard itself admitted it expected there would be some negative reactions, but not of this caliber. There have been people who ignore this upcoming title, people who complain, people who stop playing Diablo altogether, and even a petition for Blizzard to abort the project. “Diablo is dead”, they say on the internet. It is clear that Blizzard lost some life-long fans, and for a very silly reason.

Up to this moment, the only glimpse we have had at Diablo Immortal is a trailer:


Diablo Immortal Cinematic Trailer

Honestly, this trailer doesn’t reveal much. It is actually a really well-done trailer. If, hypothetically, we didn’t know it was for a mobile game, it probably would have generated the biggest hype of the year.

What is the reason behind all the hate?

It is in the nature of humans to be resistant to changes. Everyone hates being drawn out of their comfort zone, of something they are familiar with, and flung into the unknown.

Furthermore, the mobile platform is notorious for pay-to-win “cashgrab” games with annoying ads and tons of microtransactions, which really complicates the matter. Mobile games are often looked down upon as games for “casuals”, even though the platform is seeing more and more hardcore games every day.

Although some people are saying that Diablo Immortal is not going to be free to play, it is unlikely to be the case. Many big franchises are going free these days. And mobile devices currently available on the market are not made for expensive, large-scale games anyway.

Civilization 6 recently got a mobile version, and it delivers the full experience of the game, at the full price of $60 too. However, this mobile version was still badly received. Apparently, when a famous game series goes to mobile, there will be negative feedback. It doesn’t matter if the game delivers the same experience as the PC/Console version.

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Civilization 6 on mobile was also badly received

Now back to Diablo Immortal, it likely to be a free title. That doesn’t necessarily mean there will be tons of in-game purchases to entice you to spend money. A game being free doesn’t mean it is automatically bad. In fact, this might attract more players. It is still too early to jump to the conclusion that Diablo Immortal will be a cashgrab.

Games being too expensive is a major reason why piracy is so prevalent – especially on platforms like PC. After all, not everyone can afford to pay $60 for a game. It is understandable that they would turn to other means to be able to experience their favorite games. A free game, as long as it was well-designed and not made with the sole intention of sucking money out of players through microtransactions, keeps everyone happy.

NetEase’s participation in the making of the game could explain why fans are skeptical, since China companies have a bad reputation for making cheap games. But ultimately, this is Blizzard that we are talking about. The company is unlikely to butcher one of its most beloved franchises just to milk some cash. The developers probably know what they are doing. Additionally, NetEase is not really THAT bad with its ads and in-app purchases either.

To further support this argument, Hearthstone, another of Blizzard’s games, is also on mobile, and it is completely free to play, yet there have been no complaints that it is a pay-to-win game.

Just actually give the game a try before judging it

Bethesda experienced the same kind of hate (not to this level though) when they released a Fallout game for mobile a couple of years back. The game was indeed a trimmed down version of the beloved RPG game series, yet it still went on to become one of the biggest hit on mobile. It attracted the curiosity of many, and millions still play it until this day. Is it different from Fallout games on PC and consoles? Most definitely. But why does “different” have to mean “worse”?

Another example, also from Bethesda, is Fallout 76. When the developer announced that the game will be online-exclusive, there was also a backlash. However, when the BETA version launched and people realized it is actually not bad, things calmed down again.

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Fallout 76 turns out to be good despite all the doubts

With that said, there is a high chance that Diablo Immortal will be a very popular mobile game. People may say they hate it and will never play it, but eventually everyone will. It is going to be a pleasant surprise to even the biggest critics. Why? Because mobile devices have evolved, they are perfectly capable of handling triple-A titles now. And because this is Diablo, a renowned franchise from a renowned developer.

This franchise is older than many of its fans. Back in its early days there wasn’t even a thing called “online multiplayer”, yet millions of people have spent hundreds of hours of their lives on it. However, just like everything else, it has to change, to evolve and adapt. That is what Diablo Immortal is going to do. The game will help the series grow. It will bring Diablo with all the lore and gameplay to more people; and it will allow hardcore fans to enter their favorite gaming world anytime, anywhere they want.

If you are that disappointed and angry at Blizzard’s announcement, it shows that you have a deep love for the series. So don’t judge Immortal yet just because it is a mobile game, even if it is a free-to-play one. Put your anti-mobile bias behind and give the game a chance. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised.