Last weekend's annual BlizzCon -- the convention dedicated to Blizzard's handful of games -- seemed to be all about pleasing their inevitably aging fanbase. The announcements of the upgraded World Of Warcraft: Classic and Warcraft 3: Reforged were obviously meant to allow longtime fans to revisit the old-timey games without having to play versions that look like some elaborate Tetris mod. But even that jumbo-sized nostalgia bucket didn't take away any of the sting of their brand-new bold move: a Diablo mobile game.
When a producer (who clearly drew the shortest straw) announced that the first new Diablo game in over half a decade would be a phone game, he made one big mistake: He said it in front of hundreds of Diablo fans who just paid hundreds of dollars to hear it. Because of some deliberately vague hype, fans had expected Blizzard to finally announce Diablo IV after years of waiting. Instead, some guy in a branded T-shirt told them their favorite company was taking their favorite game and turning it into a phone app by a Chinese company mostly famous for making cheap Diablo ripoffs. Honestly, we're kind of surprised the Anaheim Convention Center wasn't turned into a giant smoldering crater.
The announcement was roundly booed, with angry fans taking to the mics to beg Blizzard to reconsider and even ask "Is this an out-of-season April Fool's joke?" Of course, after the announcement, the massive torrent of Diablo hate quickly and spectacularly spilled over onto the internet. Angry fans went into full pitchforks-and-torches mode on Twitter, Facebook, and of course, the Diablo subreddit, calling for a boycott of the company or even getting the game canceled. They decried a mobile version of Diablo a "slap in the face" to dedicated old-school fans. Because we guess it's hard to feel appreciated as a "git gud" hardcore gamer if your game of choice will soon be most popular among tweens being driven to soccer practice.
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