Diablo creator David Brevik has weighed in with his thoughts on Blizzard's controversial Diablo Immortal announcement. Brevik had no involvement with the creation of Diablo Immortal, and took some time to gather his thoughts on the matter before finally making them public.
Diablo Immortal was announced by Blizzard during BlizzCon this past weekend and was immediately met with harsh fan criticism. Fans were clearly expecting something more from the announcement, and they were unprepared for Diablo Immortal to be a mobile title that was outsourced to a different developer altogether. While the fans at BlizzCon and online have been justifiably criticized for reacting so poorly to a game they have yet to play, Blizzard may have made things worse for itself by creating anticipation for a Diablo announcement at its biggest event of the year.
Now, Diablo creator and all-around expert David Brevik has opened up about how he feels about the franchise's direction, and he's taking a different stance than the one Diablo 2 producer Mark Kern took earlier last weekend. During an It Lurks Below stream, David was quick to defend the game overall, stating:
"Maybe this is the best mobile game of all time, I don't know. Has anybody played it here? Why is everyone judging something before they play it? It doesn't make any sense to me at all."
While Brevik was willing to defend the game as a whole, he was less keen on the way Blizzard presented Diablo Immortal, suggesting that the show got the message all wrong and created expectations in fans that inevitably fed into the negative reaction Diablo Immortal got when it was revealed. Brevik had this to say on Blizzard's odd timing for the reveal:
"I understand people are disappointed, they wanted Diablo 4, the wanted Diablo 2 Remastered and I don't think Blizzard did a good job of announcing this at BlizzCon and raised the expectations of a lot of the...gamers through the roof to announce this. This would have been better announced with the Diablo 3 Switch version."
It's worth listening to the entire segment, as Brevik has a number of insightful things to say about the response to Diablo Immortal. The main takeaway, however, should be that the Diablo creator himself is willing to wait and see if Blizzard has created something special with the franchise, and fans who are reacting with the kind of vitriol usually reserved for egregious microtransaction systems or massive delays should likely do the same. Very few people are probably more invested in Diablo remaining a quality series than Brevik, even if he isn't directly involved anymore, and if he's preaching patience it's a wise move from everyone else to follow that advice.
That being said, however, Brevik seems to have a pretty good understanding of the Diablo fanbase in general, and it might be a heads-up move from Blizzard to discuss how to handle the IP moving forward with him. Even without Brevik, though, both Blizzard and its fanbase will need to do better as Diablo Immortal moves into the next phase of its development cycle.