Diablo Immortal will require players to maintain a constant internet connection in order to play, according to Blizzard. The new mobile title will not be playable should fans attempt to use it while their mobile device is offline.
Diablo Immortal is the most controversial Blizzard game in some time, and with good reason. Blizzard hyped up the presence of the Diablo franchise at BlizzCon enough to convince fans that a sequel or a remaster was in the works. Instead, the crowd was shown Diablo Immortal, a mobile title that is being co-developed by NetEase and is meant to be played as a primarily multiplayer experience with other users in-game. The backlash over the announcement has been huge, with Blizzard attempting to placate the Diablo fanbase while still remaining positive about the upcoming mobile adventure.
Things might get more difficult for Blizzard's Diablo Immortal mess before they get better, though. According to Diablo Immortal lead game designer Wyatt Cheng in an interview with VG 24/7 at BlizzCon, the game will not be playable offline, requiring players to maintain a constant internet connection. Cheng stated that the game simply "would not allow you to" in regards to offline play, meaning there won't even be a limited functionality available for those without an internet connection.
Realistically, the announcement isn't a shocking one. Many of the biggest mobile games on the market require a constant online connection, although that's often as part of a system design that maximizes the need for microtransactions from players. Diablo Immortal is also being designed with a massively multiplayer development philosophy behind it, which means that the ability to meet up with other players in-game is going to be crucial for experiencing it the way Blizzard intended. Battle.net, Blizzard's online social service for those playing the developer's games, is also a likely factor in the decision to make Diablo Immortal require a constant internet connection.
That information could be unfortunate for a company looking to sway the community's opinion on its game pre-launch, however. A lot of fan backlash is over a desire for a Diablo 4 or a remastered edition of a previous iteration, and now Diablo Immortal looks like it's going to be unplayable in situations mobile games are most appealing, like on a long commute. If fans are most often going to be playing Diablo Immortal from the comfort of their own home, that will fuel the argument that a sequel would have been a better decision for Blizzard after all.
Source: VG 24/7