After receiving a new trailer at ChinaJoy 2020, Diablo Immortal was thought to be right on track for its mobile debut. Being the first foray for Blizzard into the mobile space with its Diablo franchise, fans would normally have been excited aside from the fact that its fans aren’t mobile gamers (Sarcasm intended – “Do YoU gUyS nOt HaVe PhOnEs?”) With that being said, I’ve personally been very excited about the prospect of the series appearing on the Google Play Store because it meant that Chromebook owners would be the only ones who could play it on a PC. That excitement has since completely dissipated, and I’ll explain why in a bit.
Unfortunately, the most important feature for Chrome OS gameplay has been missing from any mention of the game up until now – gamepad support. If Chromebook users would have to navigate the game world and slay demons with their thumbs, I feel it would have made it pointless to even mention its existence on the platform. Well, folks, I have good news and I have bad news. Which one do you want first? Oh, the bad news? Alright – Diablo Immortal has been delayed until 2022. The good news outweighs that though, in my opinion – controller support is inbound for the title, making it possible for Chromebook owners worldwide to have a taste of Diablo on the go!
This past week, Blizzard, the game’s creator, put out a statement on the development progress for Immortal and therein delivered the above surprises.
Following feedback provided by test participants of the Closed Alpha, our team has been tuning core and endgame features. For example, we’re iterating on PvP content like the Cycle of Strife to make it more accessible, alongside late-game PvE content like the Helliquary to make it more engaging.
We’re also working to provide controller support for those who want to play our game in a different way. However, these changes and additional opportunities to improve our gameplay experience will not be realized in the 2021 timeframe we had previously communicated. So, the game is now planned for release in the first half of 2022, which will allow us to add substantial improvements to the whole game.Blizzard
Some small part of me wants to believe that the immense popularity and growth of Chromebooks has led to this development, but we probably won’t ever find out if that’s the case. One thing is for certain – competitive mobile gameplay normally takes many forms in the East, and many gamers extend their play with peripherals like a controller to enhance the experience. Chromebooks lend themselves perfectly to this exact playstyle – the only difference being their larger screen!
Apparently, Blizzard has received an overwhelming number of requests for controller support since the game has entered its testing phases, and only features that are requested this much would warrant an official statement.
Your enthusiasm for wanting to play Diablo Immortal with a controller is coming; but we’re still working through the challenges of adapting the touch screen controls to a controller seamlessly. Making our game more accessible is top of mind, and we’ll share more progress on this front as we approach the Beta in the future.Blizzard
The most unfortunate thing about Diablo Immortal is the recent allegations against Blizzard employees and their unfair and disgusting…no – abhorrent treatment of female employees. One such situation even resulted in the death of an employee during a company trip who was continually harassed and taken advantage of. With millions of World of Warcraft players leaving in troves for Final Fantasy XIV as a result, I hardly believe the company will recover from such a scandal.
Popular players like Asmongold have been producing commentary on the situation, and if you’re not aware of what I’m referring to, you can see his video on why you shouldn’t support Blizzard going forward. The quality of its games has been affected due to all of this, and even with controller support inbound for Chromebooks, I would encourage you to make a decision for yourself on whether or not you will try the game, but I’m personally not going to. In fact, if you do test the game, you may not want to pay for any microtransactions either because that would mean more money in Blizzard’s pockets. The gameplay looks fantastic, and any addition of gamepad support for Chromebook games means it feels more like a traditional PC experience, so I wanted to cover this, but like many others, I can’t support their ethics – or lack thereof. For now, you can play the original Diablo in your browser if you still have a copy – you know, to relive the good ole days.