The response from fans when Diablo: Immortal was revealed at BlizzCon 2018 was chilly, to say the least. The company’s response to widespread backlash from the community didn’t help things much either. But Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack said that the company learned a lot from the incident.
In an interview with IGN, Brack admits that mistakes were made, and that the company learned a huge number of lessons.
“I think that one of the things that we failed to do was to really help articulate that we are a PC gaming company and that we’re going to continue to be a PC gaming company,” he said.
The Diablo Immortal reveal, which saved as the final announcement at BlizzCon 2018, left fans feeling slightly betrayed and let down. With various other PC games going to consoles and no word on Diablo 4’s development, many felt that the company was looking to abandon the PC platform.
Brack responded to these concerns by saying, “We started our journey in ye-olden times as a console company, and then we migrated to PC. And in the last few years, we’ve moved Diablo 3 to console, we’ve moved Overwatch to console, we’ve moved Diablo 3 to Switch. And those have been good things, that I think a lot of people have resonated with. But fundamentally our roots are PC, a strong PC game company, and that’s not going to change.”
However, he admits that the company didn’t do a good job of articulating how Diablo Immortal is a “neat thing” the company is doing in addition to its ongoing PC game development. He makes it clear that bringing Blizzard’s franchises to mobile doesn’t mean that it will stop making games for consoles and PC.
“So that’s probably the biggest lesson: not double underscoring that piece and taking that for granted,” said Brack.
He explains that it doesn’t make sense to anyone at Blizzard to suddenly stop working on PC games, or that there’s no future in them.
“That’s not our view at all,” Brack concluded.