Well, those disgruntled fans better buckle up, because, according to a report from PC Gamer, Blizzard is just getting started with transferring its most popular IPs to the mobile games space.
Apparently, Blizzard co-founder Allen Adham said that the chips in smartphones allow for a level of graphical fidelity on par with PCs and home consoles. This is probably an insinuation that the games Blizzard would bring to the smartphone format would be similar in character and substance as well in an offhand comment on hardcore fan worries about mobile games being watered down experiences.
In remarks he made in a video on the Korean YouTube channel for Blizzard, Adham said: “Many of us over the last few years have shifted from playing primarily desktop to playing many hours on mobile, and we have many of our best developers now working on new mobile titles across all of our IPs. Some of them are with external partners like Diablo Immortal. Many of them are being developed internally only, and we’ll have information to share on those in the future.”
Aside from the much more capable smartphones out there, Adham also cited another major reason that Blizzard was looking to bring its biggest IPs to the mobile space.
This is because, in order to grow their audience, Blizzard needs to reach new gamers. Not only are some of the younger audiences gaming on their smartphones, but also many international audiences use it as their primary means of gaming. To expand their audience beyond their current core, Blizzard hopes that mobile apps that offer the same kind of robust experience brings in these new fans.
Of course, the goal is to make money and Blizzard has not been shy about that in the past. But fans hoping for Diablo 4 might have to wait a little while longer until Blizzard figures out what it wants to do with Diablo Immortal first.
In what can only be described as a chain of purchases, Blizzard is basically setting up the next generation of gamers to become the Blizzcon attendees of tomorrow. Bringing in new audiences via apps, which are often cheap or even free with microtransactions, not only later incentivizes purchases of the other games but also keeps the publisher relevant. Aside from leaving money on the table, it would be unwise for Blizzard to ignore mobile gaming entirely. Indeed, its greatest strengths – epic games with great stories and solid gameplay – could change the face of smartphone games just like it did PC gaming in the late 1990s.
Whatever happens, Blizzard’s dedication to the smartphone space is a great sign for the future of the segment which has lagged recently in the West. Once touted as the inevitable replacement for PC and console gaming, mobile gaming has struggled in the past several years due to increased scrutiny from governments with regard to microtransactions and the general feeling that mobile apps are lesser versions of regular games.