Update: Blizzard has disputed the initial report over on Kotaku, although writer Jason Schreier has posted a statement in which he stands by his claims that a video featuring Allen Adham was made, although he adds that the dispute relates to the exact timing of the Diablo IV reveal. The studio claims that no BlizzCon announcement plans were cancelled. Here's the statement:
"First off we want to mention that we definitely hear our community. We generally don't comment on rumors or speculation, but we can say that we didn't pull any announcements from BlizzCon this year or have plans for other announcements. We do continue to have different teams working on multiple unannounced Diablo projects, and we look forward to announcing when the time is right."
Original: On Friday night Blizzard stunned fans with an announcement for Diablo Immortal, a new mobile game based in the fantasy series made in conjunction with Chinese dev NetEase. The announcement, however, went down like a led balloon. The Diablo community had been eagerly awaiting more concrete news on the franchise, and that being the case, the news they got on Friday wasn't warmly received.
But it could have been a very different story if a report over on Kotaku is to be believed. According to sources allegedly close to the project, Blizzard pulled plans to have company co-founder Allen Adham appear after the Immortal reveal to tell fans that Diablo IV was indeed in the works, but wasn't ready to show. That never happened though, as apparently the company was worried that the game would change too much from its current state to how it might be at launch, and so didn't want to commit to announcing it at this time.
Going into BlizzCon fans had a fair idea that a mainline Diablo game was in the works, largely because the studio confirmed as much. The report suggests that at the time of writing that thinly veiled confirmation, there were still plans for Adham to discuss the game at the convention. With hindsight, however, it seems more logical that the original blogpost was put out at the point that the studio had worked out that the game was too far away and that it wasn't going to talk about the fourth entry in the series publically.
Either way, what we can say with certainty is that Blizzard didn't show Diablo IV at BlizzCon, and given the vocal reaction to Immortal following its reveal, higher-ups at the company probably now wish that they had.
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