BlizzCon's Schedule Suggests Big Things For Diablo... But What?
Earlier this week, Blizzard released the full schedule for its (kinda) annual convention, BlizzCon. The idea, of course, is to give everyone a chance to plan their weekend ahead of the festivities, but we all know what happens when people start to look and speculate.
This time, fans noticed that the company's long-running fantasy-themed ARPG series, Diablo, holds the place of honor, following the BlizzCon opening ceremony on the main stage in Hall D.
Diablo will be the first in a line-up of "What's Next" panels covering all of Blizzard's IPs throughout the day. But as we all know, if you want con-goers to pay attention to announcements, you make them while you have their attention -- before they wander off to buy stuff or watch esports tournaments.
So, what kind of Diablo announcement should we expect from Blizzcon this year?
Great question! The answer, unfortunately, is that we don't know for certain. But we do have some ideas thanks to the rumor mill that is the internet -- and maybe a bit of common sense.
First up is the most obvious guess. Diablo 4. It's been more than six years since Diablo 3 first launched on PC -- and over four years since the last expansion, Reaper of Souls, was released. By this point, Diablo fans everywhere are pretty convinced that some form of new game content must be in the works. Right?
Well, they are right. In fact, back in August, GameSpot wrote an article stating that "an unannounced Diablo project of some sort" was in the works. They even backed this assertion by pointing out a job listing for an artist that was needed to work on an "unannounced project".
When looking at the full job description they found it stated Blizzard was working on a "new, unannounced Diablo project."
Unfortunately, the listing is no longer available, and every other listing with "unannounced project" in its description avoided anything that would indicate what game the position might be for.
It should also be noted that the listing never actually said it was for Diablo 4. So, for all we know, it could have been a Diablo mobile game... or perhaps a Battle Royale?
So, what else do we have to possibly confirm that this will actually be the next edition in the Diablo story?
Well, It depends on if you believe 4chan posts or not.
Back in August, a thread appeared on the Battle.net forum linking to an AMA held by someone claiming to be a "medium level developer on Battle for Azeroth." According to this person, he'd been working on the new Diablo project before moving over to BfA, and he had a few things to say on the next Diablo game.
Probably one of the most interesting things noted in the Battle.net post is the assertion that the new Diablo game will play more like The Witcher or God of War. There will be no classes, just a single protagonist.
Most importantly for our discussion, he added that the new game will be announced at BlizzCon.
Now, while mulling over this, do keep in mind that it's an anonymous 4chan post from someone claiming to be a dev. So there's about an 80/20 chance it's just someone trolling.
But hey, that still leaves the 20% chance it's right.
Goldman Sachs seems to think we're getting a Diablo sequel
This is slightly older news, but in December of last year, experts from Goldman Sachs -- the investment bank and financial services company -- told CNBC that they believe Blizzard's stocks will go up over 2019 and 2020 due to the release of a few new games -- including "Diablo sequels", Overwatch 2, and mobile games.
They didn't explicitly state the Diablo sequels would include Diablo 4. And if you really want to speculate, there is a chance some of the new mobile content could be Diablo related.
There is another option
Granted, all the things I've noted so far indicate we should probably expect a Diablo 4 (or some sort of game) announcement at BlizzCon this year. But there could be another reason for Blizzard to give the series the spotlight in the convention lineup.
In case you missed it, back in August, the internet was buzzing with the rumor that Blizzard was working with Netflix on a series based on the Diablo universe. Now, I'll admit, it seems more likely to me that the main-stage post-opening ceremony slot would go to a game announcement, but we do have the Warcraft movie to look back on.
Like all of Blizzard's games, there's a lot of story to Diablo, which means it could translate well into a series of some sort. That said, is a Diablo Netflix series as big of a deal as the Warcraft movie? Is it big enough to push a game announcement out of that prime convention panel spot?
In the end, we'll just have to wait until BlizzCon to find out. But in the meantime, feel free to speculate to your heart's content!
What do you think we'll get at Blizzcon? Will it be a Diablo 4 announcement? A Diablo series announcement? Or something else entirely? Let us know in the comments below.