Activision is expecting the first Diablo Immortal player tests later in 2020. The game is unpopular with fans, but Blizzard hopes to turn that around.
Diablo Immortal is still happening despite a less than stellar reaction from fans when it was revealed in 2018, and Activision is expecting the first player tests to happen later this year. The announcement of Diablo Immortal went over so badly with fans that Activision’s stock dropped noticeably after Blizzard’s first mobile-only title was announced, but it appears both Blizzard and Activision still have faith in the game.
When Diablo Immortal was announced at BlizzCon 2018, fans were expecting Diablo 4. Instead, they were treated to glimpses of what many viewed as a cheap knock-off intended to bleed customers through microtransactions. Blizzard was accused of deleting negative comments related to the game, whose reception would only later be dwarfed by that of Blizzard’s embarrassment over its Warcraft 3: Reforged launch. Now that Diablo 4 has been announced, Blizzard seems to be pushing ahead with Diablo Immortal, an updated version of which was revealed at BlizzCon.
ComicBook reports that alpha testing for Diablo Immortal is happening later this year. This news was announced during a call with investors during which Activision said the game’s internal playtests have been “encouraging.” Activision says it will hold regional alpha testing to gather feedback and data from players that will prove “invaluable” for the production of the game.
No release date has been announced for the game, which is still in production. Diablo Immortal will introduce some interesting features to the series, including new Ultimate abilities that transform character attacks into more powerful versions. It’s unclear how well the fast-paced hack-and-slash gameplay of Diablo will translate to mobile, but Blizzard seems dedicated to producing the game. It says it is working with Chinese company NetEase to produce an “authentic” Diablo game. NetEase has previously said the title was pretty much ready, though Blizzard denied it.
Diablo Immortal has the potential to be a good mobile game, but will likely never be anything other than a soulless iteration of the other titles in the franchise. Though Diablo 4 looks amazing, it is unlikely that a mobile version of the series can feel anything other than hollow when compared to decimating the hordes of hell with a mouse or controller in hand. Nevertheless, the game is sure to be popular if for no other reason than its identity as a Diablo game – whether it is actually good or not.