What just happened? Activision Blizzard is dealing with quite a lot at the minute, but that’s not stopped it putting out an update on some upcoming games. The most significant news is that mobile spin-off Diablo Immortal has been delayed until the first half of 2022.
Diablo Immortal proved controversial when it was revealed to fans at BlizzCon 2018. Expecting to see Diablo IV, the announcement of a mobile-only version of the game was not what fans wanted to hear; one audience member asked the Diablo panel if it was an “out of season April fool’s joke.”
Activision later said that Call of Duty: Mobile’s success justified Diablo Immortal, and most people who have played the Alpha say it’s actually pretty good. We were supposed to find out ourselves sometime this year, but the game “is now planned for release in the first half of 2022, which will allow us to add substantial improvements to the whole game,” according to Blizzard.
While the the sexual harassment and gender discrimination lawsuit against Activision Blizzard and the departure of Blizzard president J. Allen Brack yesterday could have played a part in the delay, the company says the new timeline is the result of feedback from technical alpha players.
“We’re iterating on PvP content like the Cycle of Strife to make it more accessible, alongside late-game PvE content like the Helliquary to make it more engaging. We’re also working to provide controller support for those who want to play our game in a different way. However, these changes and additional opportunities to improve our gameplay experience,” Blizzard writes.
Some specific improvements include the Helliquary system now offering PvE raids for up to 8 players, “more engaging and fruitful” bounties, exclusive upgrade materials as rewards for Challenge Rifts, and an overhauled PvP Battleground.
Blizzard is also replacing the weekly XP cap—designed to stop people from spending an unhealthy number of hours on the game—with “a global cap that increases over time.” Additionally, it will give bonus XP to those who play less often, and players with higher Paragon levels will receive more powerful items.
Away from Diablo Immortal, Activision Blizzard in its Q2 2021 results said Overwatch 2 has “passed an important internal milestone,” and more of the game will be revealed in the coming months.
No word on Diablo IV, but Blizzard’s online development tracker, Blizztrack, recently updated the game’s status from 0.0.1 to 0.2.0.