With Blizzard’s upcoming highly awaiting Diablo 4 in the middle of production, it’s hard not to wonder what the final outcome will be for this classic video game title.

Will Diablo 4 address the atrocities of Diablo 3 for its fans – or will it add an additional failure onto the Blizzard Roster?

Diabo 4 Release Date

The outcome won’t be clear for some time now with details on the Diablo 4 release date still murky at best. Suffice it to say, Blizzard is working on it flat out but we shouldn’t hold our breaths based on past experiences. The last we heard the Diablo 4 team was powering through despite the limitations imposed by COVID-19 with a digital Blizzon pegged to happen early next year in 2021 but no definitive release date on the radar. Will Diablo 4’s release coincides with Blizzon is the question on everyone’s mind?

The answer is – we really don’t know yet, and based on past delays and the extra pressure from COVID-19 it’s not hard to imagine that we may still be away to go. That said, it’s unlikely that the Diablo 4 team won’t at least have something to show for Blizzon to keep hungry fans at bay especially after the botched Diablo Immortal announcement last Blizzon. Unfortunately at this stage, this is all complete conjecture – there is really no way to know for sure and as the old saying goes, it’s better to expect less and not be disappointed!

Remembering the Trauma of Diablo 3

With the backlash over Diablo Immortal being mobile only and Blizzards subsequent announcement of Diablo 4 shortly afterward to appease angry fans, it’s clear the studio are taking heat for Diablo 3, with execs having given up on a planned Diablo 3 expansion after the game failing to meet revenue expectations compared to other games. That’s not to mention a rocky launch which left millions of playing with an error screen.

While Diablo 3 may be an OK overall game in its own right, when compared to its predecessors, it pales grossly in comparison, which is understandably why many fans felt so short-changed having waited patiently for so many years for a sequel.

Despite decent initial sales, it’s pretty clear that Diablo 3 seriously hurt Blizzards integrity in the eyes of its fans, potentially pathing the way for a dangerous schism where Activision Blizzard may be alienating many of Blizzards original fan base.

The Good

Before we get into potential reasons for Diablo 4’s imminent failure, we should start with the positives so far. These include:

  • A darker more gritty look and feel more akin to Diablo 2
  • Epic story cinematics
  • Promising gameplay updates
  • A fluid open world
  • PvP and world events

One of the biggest issues with Diablo 3 was that the developers completely botched the dark, gritty, and menacing aesthetic of Diablo 1 and 2. Instead of dark and ominous, Blizzard instead opted for lots of bright colors and annoying in-game ‘cartoon style’ damage pop-ups which completely lose the sense of immersion present in previous Diablo games.

Luckily, here they at least seem to be on the right track, with the latest gameplay trailers looking markedly more dark and (dare I say it) almost completely missing the annoying cartoon-style damage indicators that made Diablo 3 a real pain for many.

Another positive is promising cinematics, which appears more memorably and polished than those of Diablo 3 (which I have trouble remembering even now).  Last but not least, we know that Diablo 4 features a shared open world as well as a non-linear campaign, meaning no loading screens between areas and the potential for some epic multiplayer areas populated by other players.

This new open-world includes PvP zones ( yes you heard right!) and world events spawning major bosses, similar to what Blizzard have done with expansions on previous Diablo titles.

The Bad

Now that we have got you excited, it’s time to face the possibility that, despite everything we mention above, we may be in for another giga-flop of a game.

With Diablo 3 having taken almost a decade just to come out, there is also the acute possibility that we may not be seeing Diablo 4 anytime soon.

Here are some things to hold your breath on:

  • Gameplay still looks a LOT like Diablo 3 despite stylistic updates
  • No set release day anywhere in sight
  • Based on the promising gameplay released early in Diablo 3 development, will the game even look like this by release time?

The Ugly

Now here is where it gets really dark.

Seeing as Diablo 3 was meant to be the sequel we needed and deserved to keep us playing for decades to come as with prior Diablo titles, the question in this authors mind is this – will Blizzard offer a discount to Diablo fans for completely botching Diablo 3?

The answer is extremely unlikely, but that won’t stop this author from getting his hopes up.

After, as loyal Diablo fans for decades, is that not the lease we deserve as an apology from Blizzard for getting our hopes up only to bash them against the rocks? If something doesn’t change then we may see new gaming studios crop up to steal their fanbase which is what happened with many members of the Starcraft 2 development team.

As they say – it’s better to not get your hopes up and never be disappointed, than to hope for the dream and end up being sold short!

Brian Goodman

By Brian Goodman

Brian is a hobbyist game developer and game enthusiast who started writing for Bits 'n Bytes in 2020. He has over 20 years under the belt as a heavyweight gamer and enjoys writing about the games he is passionate about.

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