Blizzard’s “Hold My Beer” Moment: Diablo Immortal

Written and submitted by Adam Majid.


 

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Before I get started on my coverage of this “incident,” I’d like to point out that I’m not a professional reporter. Therefore, a lot of amateur research, and I’m going to sound like a babbling conspiracy whacko. Setting the context, a bit, Blizzard launched Diablo Immortal and is catching seven-shades-of-shit for what was hoped to be an out of season April Fool’s Joke. Sadly, it was not the case.

In August 2018 there were announcements of a job opening for a Diablo Project, followed by announcements of “multiple” Diablo product/projects ongoing. People were praying for a remaster or a new DLC for Diablo III. So Blizzcon 2018 Diablo showcase reveal…. Diablo Immortal… a mobile MMO. Suffice to say that people were PISSED. Ever. There were boos, awkward silence.  Cue: – “Out of Season April Fool’s Joke,” and “Plans to make this playable on PC or is this strictly mobile forever?” The two Heroes of Blizzcon 2018.

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Don’t get me started on the level of stupid of “Do you not have phones?” remark that came out of Wyatt Chang’s mouth. I’m amazed he wasn’t pelted and booed off stage. Blizzard FANS are PC PLAYERS. PC! COMPUTER! NOT CONSOLE! NOT FUCKING MOBILE! This is the ultimate “Hold My Beer” moment.

Now, Blizzard has apparently been working with NetEase in China on this project for a while. Working with NetEase… is not a good thing. Here’s a bit about that company based on my research: – NetEase is one of the leading internet content, community, communication and commerce in China that operates some of the country’s most popular online PC and mobile games.  This is the true villain, the equivalent of EA on Meth, Steroids, and PCP. Three games that they’ve made are near blatant plagiarized rip-offs of other mainstream titles. My best examples: – Nintendo’s “Zelda, Breath of the Wild” was pretty much copied, reskinned, by NetEase as “Operation Windcloud Island.” Bluehole’s Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds became NetEase’s “Knives Out.” Finally, Diablo Immortal looks a FUCKTON like Crusader’s of Light by NetEase.  I’ve linked sources below. Now this is an actual quote, from Wyatt Cheng, the lead for Diablo Immortal, and this is his RESPONSE to claims that Diablo Immortal is just a reskin:

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Uh… I read this like five times… read some more… and well… it sounds like a fucking confession that they just reskinned a finished game and launched it. No refusal, no rebuttal, no counterpoint. As a PC gamer, and as a PC GAME DEVELOPMENT STUDIO, Blizzard done fucked up by copy pasting and badly copy pasting at that – refer to Crusader of Light alluded to previously.

A side bar for a moment: this kind of fuck up is NOT the FIRST of 2018. Anybody remember the launch of Command and Conquer Rivals by EA Games? The fans backlash was quick, brutal and merciless. Fans protested the butchering of an awesome franchise. EA Games also does not learn from its mistakes. They faced a similar backlash when they brought back Dungeon Keeper as a mobile microtransaction infested shitstorm back in 2014.

You’d think Blizzard would have known better. But they had to do their best to top the stupidity of EA GAMES…. At BLIZZCON 2018… of all places.  I mean people take time off from work, and PAY to attend this event, to get… a mobile title as the closing showcase announcement.  I don’t know what Blizzard thought would happen when here.  The gaming community has made is opinions clear, with massive downvoting on the YouTube trailers and gameplay videos (both the original and reuploads), the ranting posts on their Facebook page, the Reddit forums, and pretty much everywhere. The Twitter carnage was particularly impressive. Fans are pissed off that a “diablo-esque” “light” version was the key announcement at BLIZZCON which is a Pay-Per-View (USD200.00 per ticket, and to LIVESTREAM this event costs USD50.00) fan celebration event of the year.

We do have smartphones…don’t get me wrong, but I also have a USD5,000.00 GAMING DESKTOP that runs Diablo, Diablo II, Lord of Destruction, Diablo III and Reaper of Souls. Can I get a Diablo game on my PC? Diablo 4? Maybe a remaster? Please?

I don’t understand HOW Blizzard could not expect, anticipate and mitigate the backlash. Forget our red shirt hero for a moment. But that one line: – “Do you not have phones?!” That was killer, and I’m the only one who’d state that is a massive contributing factor to the fact that Blizzard lost about 7% of its share value.

A follow up press conference demonstrated just how OUT OF TOUCH blizzard has become:

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I suppose this is what it looks like when the company has lost touch with its fanbase. And the evidence of that is right here, from Mark Kern, the Producer of Diablo II:

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Here’s the thing that makes no fucking sense and I’m not a PR Expert: – How the FUCK did Blizzard NOT foresee this shitstorm coming their way? Command and Conquer Rivals? Dungeon Keeper Mobile? Clearly Blizzard did not learn from EA Games PAIRED monumental mistakes in this direction from earlier this year, or back in 2014. In point of fact, EA Games did not learn from their 2014 mistake, and repeated it in 2018! Blizzard were expecting backlash but didn’t plan for it? Any DIABLO fan would have TOLD you this would happen. This is just BAD PR handling. On the topic of bad PR handling…. Well…when a PIZZA Company decides to take a shot at you, you know you done fucked up. Of course, that could possibly, maybe be Domino’s Pizza have their own “Hold my beer moment.”


 

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As always, Read and Enjoy Lah!

SOURCES: 

https://www.reddit.com/r/Diablo/comments/9tzn9i/something_you_should_know_about_netease/

https://www.reddit.com/r/Diablo/comments/9v4o75/blizzcon_2018_diablo_immortal_and_rdiablo_going/

https://www.pocketgamer.biz/asia/news/68240/netease-invests-100-million-in-destiny-developer-bungie/

https://venturebeat.com/2018/11/02/diablo-immortal-netease-reskin/

http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2018/08/chinese_gaming_giant_appears_to_rip-off_zelda_mocking_nintendo_fans_and_lying_in_the_process https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2018-07-18-netease-moves-to-dismiss-pubg-suit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOL7UVbH3oU

http://ir.netease.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=122303&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2206075

https://www.engadget.com/2010/02/18/netease-approved-to-operate-world-of-warcraft-in-china/  http://ir.netease.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=122303&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2206075

https://www.gamereactor.eu/news/708683/Blizzard+responds+as+fans+call+Diablo+Immortal+a+reskin/

https://www.mcvuk.com/business/many-of-our-best-developers-are-now-working-on-new-mobile-titles-across-our-ips-says-blizzard

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