Streamers Threatened Blizzard Into Putting 'Diablo: Immortal' On PC
When the newest Diablo game was announced, fans were furious. You’d think they’d have been overjoyed. It’s a beloved legacy title. There hasn't been a wholly new installment in the series since 2012. Fans were overdue and clamoring for new content. So why was Diablo: Immortal greeted with howls of rage instead of cheers of celebration? It’s all due to the fact that the devs, in their wisdom, had decided to put the game on mobile only.
Fans longing to march into Hell and conquer the demon hordes have been waiting a long time. Despite 2021’s remaster of Diablo II: Resurrected and a smattering of DLC for 2012’s Diablo III, there just haven’t been enough Diablo games. We’re all waiting to quit our jobs and leave our wives when Diablo IV comes out. But there’s no release date so we’ll have to settle for a version of our favorite devil smashing series that was built for mobile devices. As we’ve written before, mobile gamers are gamers, but there was huge backlash against developer Blizzard when fans heard they would not be able to march into Hell on their desktops.
Activision Blizzard has an abysmal record of listening to their own employees when it comes to toxic work culture and abuse, as chronicled here and evidenced by the lawsuits brought against them. But when it comes to losing out on profit for their newest micro-transaction riddled game, they were all ears. The announcement to bring the game to PC begins: “You asked, and we delivered!” and goes on to say “the deciding factor was that we knew many of you would attempt to play this game through an emulator”. Players straight up told Blizzard that they would be playing their game, but only through third party software.
Emulators, or third party software which essentially makes a copy of another gaming system onto a PC, allow gamers to play virtually any game on a computer. The mobile only backlash was so strong, and particularly amongst streamers, that Blizzard literally changed the game. They added modifications to improve the game on PC and even included cross-platform play. They’ve also included WASD controls on PC, instead of just click to move, a welcome addition to the series.
Why be harassed into changing a game meant for mobile players? Streamers are becoming a big part of the gaming industry, giving free advertisement for a game and allowing potential players to get a sense of how much they want to invest in a new title. Streamers who would have originally been able to play the game only through a 3rd party emulator. It makes sense business wise, a company can track user data and download numbers from their Steam pages or mobile store, but the numbers get murky when it comes to emulators. Community
outrage feedback wins again.