In a move that’s sure to disappoint gamers and its huge fanbase, Blizzard has announced via a conference at BlizzCon that it is planning to invest even more into the mobile sphere. Diablo Immortal is only the start of the new venture, as Executive Producer Allen Adham has stated that mobile titles across many of its IPs are currently in the works. “In terms of Blizzard’s approach to mobile gaming, many of us over the last few years have shifted from playing primarily desktop to playing many hours on mobile,” said Adham during the Q&A session, “and we have many of our best developers now working on new mobile titles across all of our IPs.”
This announcement came almost immediately after the public’s extreme backlash towards the new Diablo Immortal mobile game. Accusing the company of prioritizing revenue over complete and quality gaming experiences, droves of fans took to the online forums to voice their displeasures. The negative reaction swept through both the video game community and the industry, its implications even dropping Activision Blizzard’s stock.
Though this was a tone-deaf and rather poorly executed reveal of a mobile port to one of their most beloved franchises, it’s not surprising that Blizzard is opting into this vast gold mine of the mobile sphere. In the current gaming market, mobile revenue has reached staggering numbers, eclipsing both PC and console and generating more revenue than the two traditional gaming platforms combined. For a gaming company, this untapped potential is hard to ignore, and though hardcore gamers will always look down on their mobile counterparts, the surefire profitability must be appealing to investors.
So, given the difficult choice between fans and profits, the only route Blizzard can ensure at this point is to release a slew of mobile ports with the highest polish possible while maintaining commitment to its PC and console fanbase. If the newfound wealth from the mobile game sector can bring about bigger and more ambitious projects for its more hardcore fans, then the end would have justified the means. Nintendo has shown that despite the commitment to mobile ports, there is no need to compromise on the flagship platform or the continuous release of high-quality titles, so hopefully Blizzard will follow suit.