So, as I’m sure you all know by now, Blizzard screwed the pooch really hard at their recent Blizzcon event, when they announced the highly-anticipated news regarding their “Diablo” franchise would be… a new game!… for mobile platforms only.
Queue the stunned silence, followed later by angry boos. Let’s just say it didn’t exactly go over well.
But it gets worse! The trailer video for this new edition of “Diablo” – named “Diablo Immortal” – got bombed with unhappy comments and downvotes on YouTube, so Blizzard responded by taking the video down, and reuploading it, in order to clear those comments and reset the vote meter. Then the new video would get downvoted and filled with uphappy comments. So Blizzard took that video down, put up a new one, made it Unlisted (you have to have a direct link to it to access it on YouTube), and took down the comments feature. It still got downvoted like crazy, so much so that Blizzard quit fighting, and let people comment and downvote as they will.
Meanwhile, Blizzard staff basically tech-shamed their own fans at Blizzcon during a Q&A about “Diablo Immortal”. When asked politely if this game would ever be made available for PC, they responded that it would be for iOS and Android only, adding “Don’t you guys have phones?”
Yeah. That could have gone better.
Now word comes out that Blizzard isn’t even making DI, but have outsourced the development to NetEase, a company best known for making mobile MMOs. Their library of games has often been described as being ‘rip-offs of DIablo’, and some have pointed out that one of NetEase’s current games looks almost identical in UI and mechanics to DI in its own trailer.
So basically a company that makes Diablo clones will be making the next Diablo game. For mobile platforms only. And since Activision is involved, it will most assuredly be chock full of microtransactions!
I simply cannot wait!
But on top of all of that, I may have noticed something even more insidious regarding DI, that I haven’t heard anyone else mention quite yet. Did anyone else note the name issue?
This mobile-only version of Diablo will be named “Diablo Immortal”, right? Maybe it’s just me, but that’s pretty darn close to what Blizzard named the Diablo 3 port for the Nintendo Switch, being “Diablo Eternal”. That couldn’t possibly have been done to cause confusion for more casual players, could it?
Hear me out on this. Let’s say little Timmy wants a Nintendo Switch with “Diablo Eternal” for their birthday. So Timmy’s mom does some basic searching online, because they know nothing about games, and finds they can get “Diablo Immortal”… and better yet, they can get it for that expensive tablet they already bought Timmy for Christmas last year!
So, Timmy’s birthday rolls around, and he finds not only did he not get a Switch, he also didn’t get the version of Diablo he wanted, and what he did get runs like ass on the shitty tablet he got for Christmas last year. Next thing you know, the tablet gets smashed, Timmy is sent to his room, Mom is in tears, wondering what she did wrong – The answer to which is everything. You did everything wrong, Mom – and Dad is again secretly making plans to leave, because seriously, fuck this shit!
My point here is this: You ever see those cheap, straight-to-DVD knockoffs of big blockbuster films? They are often found in the budget DVD tub at Walmart, and are created for one reason only: To fool people who don’t know any better into buying them, thinking they are something else.
Lil’ Timmy wants “Spiderman: Homecoming” for Christmas? Grandma finds “Spiderguy: Homeschool” and buys that instead, because it was $5, and that still allows her to afford her Insulin this month.
Lil’ Timmy, still stinging from the Spiderguy Incident, asks to see “It” when he goes to see Grandma the following Halloween, because she’s been feeling poorly, due to being diabetic and elderly and related to Lil’ Timmy. But she does her best, and picks up a copy of “ITt” – the story of an evil IT guy turned circus clown – which of course leads to yet another epic meltdown from Timmy, and Grandma in the hospital, after she tried to eat all of the caramel apples “to make the pain stop”.
Ya get what I’m saying here?
When a company names two products in a similar fashion, it is usually done for one reason only: To fool people like basically everyone in Little Timmy’s long-suffering family into buying an inferior product, when they meant to purchase the superior one. But why would Blizzard do this? Simple.
Let’s say someone purchases “Diablo Immortal” (the mobile game), when they meant to buy “Diablo Eternal” (the game for the Switch). Odds are that – since they can’t really return a mobile game – they will go ahead and buy a copy of DE as well, meaning Blizzard gets two sales, when otherwise they would have only gotten one.
Yes, they are just that cynical. They are Activision, after all.
So, with all this in mind, what is one to do about the whole DI vs DE thing? Immortal or Eternal? What is the correct answer, when your very own Lil’ Timmy comes begging for one or the other?
“Path of Exile”. That is the correct answer.