Blizzard is famously strict regarding its standards, and it apparently felt Diablo IV hadn't yet met them.
As well as "Diablo Immortal", a mobile version of classic action franchise "Diablo", video game developer Blizzard announced new content for "Overwatch", "Hearthstone" and "Warcraft" at Blizzcon 2018, while "Destiny 2" goes free until November 18.
Now key sources familiar with the matter give more insight on this odd decision. There was much criticism with many saying that the Diablo: Immortal reveal should have been followed by confirmation that Blizzard is working on Diablo 4, a strategy adopted by Bethesda when it announced Elder Scrolls: Blades before confirming The Elder Scrolls VI.
Two sources familiar with the situation told the site that the original plan had been to announce Diablo Immortal, and then end with a video in which co-founder Allen Adham would confirm that Diablo 4 is in the works, but not yet ready to show. Blizzard maintains that it had never meant to talk about Diablo 4 at BlizzCon and that no announcements were pulled from the show.
This omission makes sense for two reasons: development and marketing.
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Additional Blizzcon 2018 announcements included "Warcraft III: Reforged", a 2019 remake of the 2002 strategy classic that became a "Dota 2" and "League of Legends" precursor; Ashe, a new character for team action game "Overwatch", as well as a Kellogg's cereal tie-in called Luci-oh's for December; and an expansion called "Rastakhan's Rumble" for digital card game "Hearthstone" on Dec. 4. That would've lessened the big blow from the likely microtransaction-ridden Diablo Immortal announcement.
So, upon the unexpected announcement of Diablo Immortal, fans lost their collective shit.
The mobile game is being handled mostly by Asian juggernaut NetEase, who is well-versed in smartphone gaming and should tailor-make the experience for multiple territories.
Ardent fans had been hoping that the weekend's BlizzCon event would bring news of a Diablo IV, as the last game in the series was released over half a decade ago in 2012.