GAMING fans have reacted with fury to the announcement by Activision Blizzard that the latest instalment of the Diablo franchise will be a mobile game.
Speaking at the company’s annual BlizzCon show in Anaheim, California, the developer told the shocked crowd the new game in the incredibly popular series — Diablo Immortal — would be available for just iOS and Android.
It comes after rival company Epic Games had massive success with its hit Fortnite on mobiles over the past year.
The new Diablo game is the fourth in the series, which started back in 1996 as a PC and Mac game.
Diablo Immortal’s developer said the new instalment was set chronologically between Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and the beginning of Diablo III.
But in a live Q&A, one audience member slammed the announcement, asking: “Is this an out-of-season April Fool’s joke?”
Answering the question, a spokesman for Activision Blizzard on stage said: “No, this is a fully-fledged Diablo experience on mobile, which everybody will get to play, and which hopefully will bring new heroes to Sanctuary as well as welcoming our community back into it.”
But other fans online were equally scathing.
John Sabatel tweeted: “RIP Diablo franchise at BlizzCon this year.”
“Is this an out-of-season April Fool’s joke?”
Fan at BlizzCon
While Thurston Hillman wrote: “Poor Diablo, I’m so sorry this mobile travesty is happening to you.”
Another shared a picture on Twitter of them uninstalling 2017’s Diablo II: Reaper of Souls, captioning it: “It’s not me, it’s you”.
The YouTube trailer for Diablo Immortal has already racked up 85k dislikes with just 3.3k likes since being uploaded on November 2.
One fan commented: “Hardcore gamers do not want to see their favourite titles turned into phone-based button mashers.”
Diablo II broke records when it was released in 2000, selling over 2.5 million units in the space of a year.
BlizzCon 2018 also saw the release of a new Warcraft game Warcraft III: Reforged, which will come out sometime in 2019.
While World of Warcraft: Classic has also been scheduled for release in summer 2019.
Another Blizzard franchise, Overwatch, is also getting a new hero, Ashe.