The mainstream games media is doing that thing again where they attack gamers and insult them using their SJW buzzwords of “toxic masculinity” and “entitled.”
This time they’re aiming their moral superiority at the Diablo community for their “toxic,” “entitled,” and “disrespectful” reaction to the announcement of the Diablo Immortal game for mobile devices.
To set the stage, Diablo 3 released in 2012 and it’s expansion pack, Reaper of Souls, in 2014. Since then, the game has seen one thing of significance (outside of some patches), the Rise of the Necromancer pack that released in 2017.
It’s not at all unreasonable for the passionate members of the Diablo community to be itching for more Diablo content. That’s kind of an important element that keeps a community engaged and well a community.
Blizzard came out before BlizzCon and set some expectations for the Diablo franchise. They pretty much told their fanbase that Diablo 4 wasn’t going to be revealed at BlizzCon. I think most folks were okay with that, and certainly the Diablo fans at BlizzCon knew they weren’t going to get something huge like Diablo 4 announced.
But that community still had hope for something that wasn’t put in check by Blizzard. Perhaps a new DLC pack adding the Druid to the game much like the Necromancer was added last year. Many others were hoping for not a new game that they knew wasn’t going to be announced, but rather a remastering of Diablo II.
The Diablo community is made up mostly of PC gamers. That’s been the home platform for the franchise, although certainly Diablo 3 has been popular on PS4 and Xbox One and will likely do well on Switch now too. The Diablo fans who attended BlizzCon, specifically for Diablo, are amongst the most passionate members of that community.
So how can anyone, especially games media, blame those folks for being unhappy with what Blizzard delivered at BlizzCon? For crying out loud, Blizzard saved Diablo for the end of their opening ceremony which did more to build hype for the Diablo crowd than it did to lower their expectations. And they announced a mobile Diablo game.
This is a classic example of a tone deaf company. And that blue checkmarks in the mainstream gaming media rush to defend them, and virtue signal to their woke buddies, and attack gamers is disgusting.
To a degree, they’re correct. The Diablo community isn’t entitled to new core Diablo content be it DLC, a remaster, or Diablo 4. No one is entitled to anything, and I doubt very many Diablo fans would actually think they’re entitled to anything.
By the same token, Blizzard, as the developer/publisher isn’t entitled to a joyous reaction. A company should know their audience, and one in tune with what their core audience wants wouldn’t peddle a product they knew that audience wouldn’t want in front of them.
You don’t get in front of the most passionate members of an existing community, say you know they’re hungry for more of their favorite franchise, and then present them with something that’s completely opposed to what they (the ones you’re announcing it in front of) actually want.
Someone at Blizzard should be familiar enough with both the Diablo franchise and more importantly its community to have understood that maybe the closing of the BlizzCon opening ceremony probably wasn’t the best place to announce this. This is something you announce on a random day on your website and through a press release. Not on a stage in front of hardcore community members.
Just look at this response from the blue checkmarks (image from r/KotakuInAction):
Are you kidding me?
Here’s some Will Powers tweets:
“The people that bash on mobile gaming are an offshoot of toxic masculinity. They get off on hating something that they’ve traditionally associated with a heavily female audience.”
That’s not true at all. People who primiarly play games on PC, and even console (who also get grief from the PC master race folks), bash on mobile gaming because it is completely inferior in just about every possible way.
They don’t hate on it because they view it as being heavily female, they hate on it because its a trash platform for the type of games they enjoy playing.
“Launch this dude into the sun. This is beyond disrespectful to all the developers and people that have been working their butts off.”
That’s in response to a Diablo fan at BlizzCon asking the devs during a Q&A if the Diablo Immortal announcement was an out of season April Fool’s joke.
People work their butts off all the time in games industry. When a reviewer absolutely rips into a game because it’s bad, is that being disrespectful to the people who worked on it?
These are the same developers who, when asked if Diablo Immortal might come to PC, said no and then got booed (as expected considering it was mostly PC gamers in attendance) and responded by asking “do you people not have phones?
How is that not disrespectful to the Diablo fans who paid to be at BlizzCon and that Blizzard undoubtedly hopes will spend money on their little mobile game?
Here’s Samuel Axon replying to the Powers tweets. Samuel Axon is from ArsTechnica:
“That moment made me want to throw in the towel on being part of the gaming community. Toxic nonsense. If he doesn’t like mobile games, imagine this, he doesn’t have to play. Diablo 4 will come and he can be happy with that. Sigh.”
There’s that word toxic again, so you know what kind of person this is. Let’s see what else he has to say before continuing…
“The nerd rage about franchise mobile games is similar to the GamerGate anti-women raging. Core gamers are so entitled for being catered to over the years that they lose their damn minds at the very mention of welcoming other people to the hobby, even though it’s not zero sum.”
Mention GamerGate AND claim it was anti-women? Check.
Call core gamers entitled? Check.
Yes, screw those whiny entitled consumers from a passionate community. How dare they be vocally disappointed after getting their hopes up for even the tiniest of things possibly happening. Those poor developers should be coddled. Reskinning a game is super hard work.
If a company wants to make a game to welcome other people into the hobby and not cater to their “core” audience, then maybe don’t announce it in front of your core audience. John and Jane Doe who have never played a Diablo game before and primarily play on mobile weren’t sitting in the audience at BlizzCon hoping for Diablo on mobile. Hardcore Diablo fans WERE sitting there. That’s the audience Blizzard chose to announce this too.
It’s not the Diablo gamers that were in attendance that were being entitled, it’s that Blizzard was completely out of touch with who they were announcing this in front of.
Here’s Brian Crecente, from Variety, replying to Samuel:
“I can’t wait to see what others come to smartphones, enraging manchildren who weren’t alive when the original came out.”
What a weird thing to say. Diablo 1 came out at literally the end of 1996. You might as well consider it a 1997 release. It was ported to PlayStation in 1998.
I don’t think the BlizzCon audience was made up of mostly teenagers. I’d estimate probably 98% of the people there are in fact over 21, and thus alive when Diablo first came out. Not that it matters in the slightest.
Back to Will Powers for a moment:
“If I were Blizzard, I would have thrown that “Is this game a joke” dude out of the convention.”
There’s a word this SJW would probably use as an insult, I believe it’s “fragile.”
Throwing someone out of a convention who paid to be there because he asked a question, is how you lose a fanbase. Learn to take some criticism.
How about Lucy O’Brien from IGN:
“When the Diablo dude got up to ask the devs if their game is a joke, he was being a massive dickhead. There’s no real discussion to be had beyond that. It’s rudeness and entitlement at its most raw.”
It was neither rude nor entitled. He only asked what the majority of the existing Diablo community was thinking, which makes it a legitimate question.
It’s almost as if announcing this game in front of this specific crowd was a bad idea. Who could have possibly thought it would be well received?
And Sean Finnegan, also from IGN:
“If you’ve ever questioned that gamers are the most cynical, toxic, and entitled fandom in all of entertainment, just look at the Diablo Immortal announcement at BlizzCon. So called “fans” going on mic to shit on devs hard work just because it isn’t what they wanted is atrocious.”
Toxic AND entitled. It’s almost as if these people have the same script.
“So called fans…”
He put fans in quotation marks, just like that other idiot did gamers. Could it be these fans that have kept Diablo relevant by continuing to play Diablo 3 six years after its release and Diablo 2 18 years after its release? Could it be these fans who bought a ticket, hotel rooms, etc. to attend BlizzCon?
Sure, let’s crap on the fans, on the gamers, and call them names because of the poor choice of a corporation.
None of these people are entitled or acted entitled. Disappointed, absolutely, and fans are allowed to be that.
Let’s just never criticize developers again. They work hard, and that matters. The paying customers, who work hard for their money, that keep a franchise relevant should be happy when they receive a plate of crap.
These fans that all these media folks keep saying are being entitled, KNEW they weren’t getting a Diablo 4 announcement at BlizzCon. And that’s what they REALLY want. But they had hope for maybe a small DLC pack for Diablo 3, maybe a remastering of Diablo 2… something for the existing games that they love and play.
Is there an audience for Diablo Immortal, even if it is a reskin of several existing games? Of course, and it’ll probably do very well. But that audience wasn’t at BlizzCon and they probably won’t even know about the game until it releases. So why announce it, with such excitement, in front of your franchise’s most passionate community members?
And these people say “you know Diablo 4 is in the works, so just wait and you can enjoy that.”
These people don’t know Diablo 4 is in the works, not now, not until Blizzard officially says “Diablo 4 is in active development, more soon.”
All they’re saying is that they have “multiple Diablo projects in development.” That could mean literally nothing to the existing Diablo community.
Should they be excited about Diablo, the card game? No.
Should they be excited about Diablo, the MOBA? No.
Should they be excited about Diablo, the MMORPG? No.
Should they be excited about Diablo, the kart racer? No.
You can’t just slap a game franchise’s name on a game and expect the existing community to be excited or accepting of it. Developers aren’t “entitled” to that kind of franchise loyalty or community response.
Hell a large portion of the Diablo community were unhappy with Diablo 3 because it was so different than Diablo 2. They want a hardcore, action RPG. That’s not unreasonable, it’s why they’re fans of the franchise.
Those fans in attendance were never going to be happy or thrilled about Endless of God reskinned with Diablo assets to play on their phones. Let it be a lesson, you can’t just slap a known name on a game and expect its fans to be all that receptive.
Intended audience or not, it was announced in front of a group of passionate gamers who don’t want it AND it was the only thing announced for the Diablo community. How could anyone expect the response to be any different than it was? It’s the easy kind of thing to see, any suit worth his salt should have been able to say “maybe announcing this at BlizzCon isn’t the best idea.”
But sure, let’s bash the gamers and call them names. It’s the woke thing to do.