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Diablo 2 Producer Explains Why Blizzard “Doesn’t Understand Gamers Anymore”

Responding to the recent backlash over Blizzard’s announcement of the mobile-only Diablo: Immortal during last week’s BlizzCon keynote, ex-Blizzard employee Mark Kern, who worked as a producer on Diablo 2, had some criticisms of his own for his former studio.

In a lengthy Twitter thread, Kern said, “I hate to say it, but what you are seeing is Blizzard not understanding gamers anymore.”

Specifically, Kern takes issue with the way Blizzard teased a major Diablo franchise announcement, only to turn around and reveal a mobile game without considering or anticipating how the fan community would react.

“There is nothing wrong with having a mobile version of Diablo. In fact, I would have wanted one as an option,” he explained. “But the way it was hinted at, and presented, and the failure of Blizzard management to predict the backlash caught me by surprise. Blizzard used to be really gamer driven.”


Kern believes that Blizzard created an expectation for fans that they would be seeing a PC product announcement by teasing a Diablo announcement, leading to a “huge bait-n-switch feeling moment.” He added that back when he was working at the company, Blizzard would have predicted this kind of response in advance. “Blizzard never used to have to ask, because it was made up of hard core gamers from top to bottom […] I would have had a line of devs outside my door telling me [the Immortal reveal] was a bad move.”

Blizzard’s Mark Cheng has issued a response to the Diablo: Immortal controversy, saying that he doesn’t “think mobile should be a dirty word,” but that is likely not to go over well with a fan community that has already given the game’s YouTube trailer an unfavorable like/dislike ratio, questioned if Immortal is just a reskin of a previous title from mobile developer NetEase, and even boldly questioned developers at the Blizzcon Diablo panel whether Immortal is “an out-of-season April Fool’s joke.”

Blizzard has all but confirmed Diablo 4 is in development, stating that “multiple Diablo projects” are being worked on right now, but did they make the wrong move by revealing Immortal first? Have your say in the comments below.

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Follow me on Twitter at Nick_Steinberg.

The 20 Most Controversial Video Games Ever Made

id Software

Let’s face it: controversy is extremely easy to manufacture and almost instantly brings notoriety to itself. This is especially true in the video game industry, as nearly every video game out there has had some kind of controversy surrounding it, or has offended somebody, often for trivial reasons. However, there are a handful of games out there that truly deserving of the term “controversial” because of how offensive, disgusting, and downright awful they are. Read on and see the top 10 most offensive video games ever.

Warning: graphic content will be discussed.

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