For the most optimistic, it was still possible to believe that the sequel to the most famous hack ‘n’ slash from the Californian studio Blizzard Entertainment would be able to see the light of day in this year 2021. It will not be. It was during the presentation of the financial statement of the Activision Blizzard group, on February 4, that the meager hopes were showered, Diablo IV It did not appear there (as did Overwatch II, also expected). Group management summarized the situation in these terms:
“We are making significant progress in the development of projects for our other licenses, which should lead to more growth from 2022”.
It is in 2022 that everything is likely to accelerate, which is why the next BlizzConline to be held on February 19 and 20 will be particularly scrutinized. New announcements on Blizzard’s flagship title are expected. And the studio knows it, with Diablo IV, he walks on hot coals. After its official announcement at BlizzCon 2019, the first trailer and the first gameplay elements, the community was on fire.
The return to the sources of the artistic direction which returns to the style which made the success of the license is at the heart of the expectations. Indeed, the artistic turn initiated by Diablo III has fizzled out and has especially divided the players unconvinced by a style too close to the universe of the Warcraft saga.
The developers immediately promised “a dark, gothic and medieval version of hell”. Hear here a return to the visual identity of the Diablo saga which will finally allow it to free itself from other Blizzard productions in both substance and form. The biggest difficulty for the studio remains to create a product available on various platforms (PC and Consoles) that can appeal to a wide variety of audiences.
However, Blizzard is known to know how to spare its audience while regularly distilling news of their projects. It should also be remembered that it took more than 10 years between Diablo II, Lord of Destruction (2001) and Diablo III (2012) without the success of this being denied. The studio knows that it is expected and that the return of this license relies on nostalgia to delight disappointed fans of the previous opus, without forgetting that the Cyberpunk fiasco will be remembered for a long time.