Why was the game of Diablo Immortal so serious? Why did not Blizzard see you coming? Today on Kotaku Splitscreen, we discuss.
Maddy Myers of Kotaku returns to the show this week, joining me and Kirk to talk about the great disaster by Diablo from last week. First let's talk about some of the games we played, including Assassin's Creed Origins Return of the Obra Dinn and Red Dead 2 . Then we move on to the news of the week on Nintendo that remove a "racist animation from the new Smash BlizzCon ads and the great controversy Diablo . Let's talk about why Diablo Immortal has frustrated fans and offers us some theories about why marketing is such an important part of video game culture. Finally, off-topic talks and the song chosen by Kirk & # 39; s Music Of The Week.
Download the MP3 right here or read an excerpt:  Jason: I can promise everyone that Diablo 4 is in development. I have talked to many people who have worked there, or seen or played. The game was made right now. This does not mean that the game will not be canceled, because we have no idea what will happen in the coming years, but the game is under development. So for the people who were crazy and many people were crazy about Diablo Immortal thinking that he would replace Diablo 4 is not bored anymore.
So yes, there was a lot of fan backs Diablo Immortal for many, many reasons. Everyone saw that guy who stood in line to questions and answers Diablo and asked: "Is it a joke of the fish of April out of season?" Everyone saw the rage, the YouTube downvotes, the Reddit comments. And so there are many questions about this anger. Here's a question I'd like to ask you, and Maddy, I'll throw it first. Blizzard has created this atmosphere where they keep the BlizzCon every year, and they say, 'Hey, Blizzard family, get together.' And they always ask the same questions at the beginning – How many of you are your first BlizzCon? Your tenth BlizzCon?
Maddy: And they started with that trailer that showed the smiling faces of everyone in the audience saying, "Welcome home!"
Jason: So here's the question. And I do not say this to justify any of the horrible reactions I've seen from some people online. But do you think Blizzard facilitated this kind of anger by creating this atmosphere where fans think they're part of the Blizzard family and should get what they want because they're part of the Blizzard family and are coming to BlizzCon every year? Do you think it's part of this conversation?
Maddy: I think so. I do not know if I would say, "Well, Blizzard deserves it because they've facilitated this kind of disadvantage," because Blizzard is not the only organization doing stuff like that with games and encourages this kind of mentality. I think they're a good example, because it's a PAX-esque convention but it's run by Blizzard and it's just the Blizzard games, and there's the feeling that if you're there, you're just a fan of Blizzard games, and you can walk from the StarCraft bar to the bar Hearthstone . You're just playing these games & # 39; it's a sort of atmosphere of that convention, so it's unique compared to PAX.
But it recalls this sense, well then how much fans can socially ask? And is it OK that they give voice to these opinions directly during a question and answer session where they can literally talk to developers and insult them in the face? And I think it's socially normal enough now that people feel confident about it and think it's fun and can be on a Twitch clip and share it with their friends, and that's rewarded. This is a bit different but it's also the same as tweeting on someone to drag them and get upvotes and things like that, but now he's in person during a Q & A so it's a bit of a chore. uncomfortable.
Jason: I think that because people feel part of this extended Blizzard family, "because of the way Blizzard created this atmosphere, they feel like Blizzard realizes games just for them So when Blizzard is like, "Hey we want to make a game that appeals to the mobile audience", and it's clearly not for this crowd at BlizzCon, or for Diablo biggest internet fans in general, they feeling personally attacked. "Hey, I got a day's work, I crossed the country to be at BlizzCon and this is what you give me?" And I think it's really interesting and worthy of a conversation- Kirk: What are your thoughts?
Kirk: I have many thoughts, because this captures so many parts of this discussion about the culture of videogames that has gone on forever. It's a lot, I think I'll try to focus on one thing. Something that I have noticed over the years of covert video games is that some of the most angry and intense kickbacks tend to be on things that have not yet come out. It tends to be more like marketing campaigns and ads, and things people have heard of but have not played for themselves or seen. I think that in this case it is definitely a marketing failure for many reasons, and the intensity of the rage around it.
Usually if people are angry at something that does not exist yet – in this case it is a mobile game that is under development, and it is Diablo 4 that people do not really know. You reported [ Diablo 4 ] is happening but people have no news of Blizzard, so they do not know what to think. There is no place to go for that energy. So it builds and lingers and gets worse.
Thinking back to things like the controversy Witcher 3 comes to mind because I wrote about it when it happened three years ago. It was so similar because there was this feeling of "OK this game now looks worse" and they are going through trailer … Basically, everyone is talking about something that is not [yet] real. And even in this case it is true.
Obviously there were real things here – it was a real ad, it was a real event, there were real people on stage. But I have a feeling that much of this is just a byproduct of how much video game culture is still built around marketing. It's a marketing event, so much of what people talk about are ads, which are basically just marketing. And in this case, it was clearly a marketing failure, just because, something as simple as putting [thead Diablo Immortals ] at the end of a major opening event …
Maddy: Treat this as the great climax you are building.
Kirk: Exactly. And then everyone is kind, oh it will be Diablo 4 surely it is … and then it's not like that. The whole thing refers to how much marketing culture is about marketing: what you'll buy and what people are telling you to buy.
Maddy: Regarding the way people are angry about something that does not exist and also because they can not really interact, then what they are crazy about is the assumptions that they are doing what will be. And perhaps these assumptions are right, perhaps it will be exploitative or bad or otherwise. But above all what I have seen is that people angry with the idea of Diablo are a mobile game. And some of these are more reasonable criticisms – this company is a known entity that I do not like – but some of them are: "How dare they put Diablo on a phone, it makes no sense, and not It's like that for me, a major player. "So there's also that, too, and this is also the idea of something that does not exist, so they're your assumptions about what it should be. It would be nice if this was an extraordinary phone game, but I do not think it will be, so maybe a little of this anger will end up feeling like it's "justified". And this is a little bit upsetting even for me, because I feel that some of them are not founded on reasonable feelings.
Kirk: Above all because we know that Diablo 4 was realized. When you were describing their blog post, Jason, you used the word "fundamentally", in practice it was said that Diablo 4 would be there. But this "fundamentally" is doing a lot of work, because it does not say it.
Jason: This is the big concern, right? It's not just because Diablo is on the phones, it's about the fact that Diablo is on the phones and they have not said anything about Diablo 4 . All they have used is this vague "We have more projects Diablo in the works." And if only they said, and it is disconcerting, it is inexplicable for me that they would not say it. We are working on Diablo PC game. & # 39; You do not even need to say the name-save the great title for a cinematic or a teaser or anything else. But let's just say: "We are working on a new game Diablo for PC." That's all you have to say.  Maddy: But is not this the setting of a precedent that there will be a film at BlizzCon the next year? Because once you have announced that you have a game, and it's a game Diablo even if you do not say it's Diablo 4, I feel like people assume the premises, OK so next year we'll find out. I think it was the way expectations were built, and part of that is how these events have been managed for so long
Kirk: I wonder, it will be interesting to see how Bethesda announces The Elder Scrolls VI plays 40 years in advance. Why could there be a new standard established there, and it could be "Yes, we'll just tell people what we're working on", and then next year, it's "Yes, we're still working on it, we do not we do it & # 39; I have nothing to show you, sorry, but we are still doing it. & # 39;
Jason: It was great, because the reason is Fallout 76 – & # 39; Here's this multiplayer survival, but do not worry, we're still making Bethesda-style games. Here Starfield here Elder Scrolls VI you will not see them for a while, but this is what we are doing, do not worry, we have not abandoned our core fan. & # 39;
And that's what Blizzard did not do, which is why the main fans who feel betrayed by Blizzard are going crazy. It was really interesting to see, and I feel that everything could have been easily avoided.
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