It’s been quite some time since Blizzcon 2018, yet the way it showcased the world Diablo Immortal has yet to be forgotten. Perhaps it never will be. The game also has yet to have a release date. So, once the game comes out, why will it not prevail over Path of Exile Mobile? Here are the reasons why.
Immortal, Dead on Arrival
The likeliest answer to that question is the fact that almost nobody wants Diablo Immortal. To be fair, however, it’s not because it’s a mobile game, but because it’s your usual watered-down PoE mobile version of a game that’s had years and years of rich mechanics in proper, full-scale game systems.
This is a huge difference from Path of Exile’s mobile version, which will be a downscaled iteration of the game but has most of its mechanics intact. Other than the controls scheme, it’s still very much Path of Exile.
Genuine and From Within
Like one of the Grinding Gear Games devs said, PoE mobile version was something they themselves developed, not outsourced to some third-party company–a rather obvious callout against its much-bigger rival. Other than having the same complex yet well-loved mechanics themselves, this speaks of authenticity and loyalty towards the fan base. And sentimentality aside, players also get the familiarity they’re after.
In Diablo Immortal, you don’t get that. Sure, it’s still a top-down dungeon crawler, but it now feels more like one of those generic Korean mobile action MMOs. Seriously, Ultimates? This is a stark contrast to Path of Exile, which only brought the old but gold Path of Exile experience–gathering PoE currency
, collecting PoE Orbs
, and building your passive skill tree—on your phones.
There Are No Brakes
Another reason is rather obvious: there’s already a hate train against it. Regardless of the game’s quality, a lot of other factors have caused the solid Diablo fanbase, mobile gamers, and gamers in general to stay away from the game. In fact, despite the game not having any release date yet, it’s already achieved memetic notoriety. The sheer amount of mockery the game receives is more than enough for people to not touch it with a ten-foot pole.
Spiting Your Own Nose
One of the biggest mistakes Blizzard did was go against its own franchise, player base, and gamers in general. In fact, the very creation of Diablo Immortal already goes against what Diablo and its players have always been about. At that point, however, Blizzard still could’ve mitigated the damage the game nobody wanted would’ve done with the right presentation and PR. Unfortunately, it was everything but that.
Blizzard could’ve told loyal Diablo fans who were anticipating a Diablo IV announcement that Diablo Immortal is just a side project, and that the game they want to hear about is right around the corner. But instead, they made Diablo Immortal the main event, much to everyone’s chagrin, lapsed fans included. As if it’s not bad enough, Blizzard had to add insult to injury by their now-iconic “you do have phones, right?” failure of a comeback.
Aside from the fact that you don’t snap at your fan base when they think you’ve made a snafu, you don’t imply that the game is a must-play because everyone has the device it’s in. Also, you don’t imply that PC and consoles, especially the former, have become obsolete and that phones are the future of gaming just to sell a side project.
Path of Exile for mobile, on the other hand, didn’t receive full promotional effort or attention. It was simply just there. As to why GGG didn’t sell it as hard as Blizzard did with Diablo Immortal, it’s probably because it wasn’t meant to be the franchise’s experimental interim cash cow. It’s simply an alternative way to play the game.
It pays to stay true to yourself and let results speak for themselves, and that’s why Diablo Immortal won’t even be considered as competition for Path of Exile mobile. So don’t worry exiles; Blizzard won’t win the mobile wars!