In a move that really doesn’t come as much of a surprise (as it’s been rumored for months, leaked last week, and is the obvious PR move to try and distract from continued terrible behavior)… Blizzard has announced Diablo IV during the opening announcements for BlizzCon, which kicked off earlier today. A bit later on, Overwatch 2, which leaked earlier in the week, was announced as well.
Neither of these come as a surprise, and I’m certain that the games themselves will be great. All of the other behavior aside, Blizzard still makes a great quality project and fun games, even when things like story (Battle for Azeroth), monetization (Overwatch and Hearthstone), and aggravating features (Diablo III up until it got an expansion) notwithstanding.
That being said, I don’t care how great these games look, and neither should anyone else. There are no dates attached to either project, which means they are likely ages off still, and both games are getting their resources at the expense of things like Starcraft and Heroes of the Storm (Starcraft dev, in particular, has been gutted and distributed to other projects, so the game is effectively dead – and there are no non-esports Starcraft events or panels at Blizzcon).
We didn’t live up to the higher standards we set for ourselves. Second, we failed in our purpose. For that, I am sorry, and I accept accountability.
Blizzard president J. Allen Brack was out for the announcement to give us a big notpology that sadly got cheers, but said nothing of substance. Everything in that is technically true right up to the point of “I accept accountability,” but there’s a term for what this is when you look at it as a whole… and pardon the language: bullshit. They are sorry people are angry, but they’re not changing anything from the last actions they took.
People were still banned and silenced, and they’ve done nothing to actually fix their failure. A sorry means nothing if you don’t try to make amends or do something to fix it. They failed, and continue to fail, in those supposed higher standards and purpose. Nothing was given here except words, and they are empty. They deserve no forgiveness, deserve no money, and do not deserve applause and praise for saying sorry and continuing to be terrible.
There are protests going on at the event highlighting both what is going on in the world, and Blizzard’s efforts to cover it up in their games and penalize players for commenting on it. It’s not a huge group, but it is something, and Blizzard has already silenced almost everything during the con to avoid any fallout (last I’d checked, there was only a single Q&A, for WoW, on the schedule).
— alessandro fillari (@afillari) November 1, 2019
I have no illusions that the vast majority of people outraged a few weeks ago are cheering at the news of Diablo IV… but I’m not one of them. I offered to have someone else post who might be a little more positive over this, because I’ll be honest, I don’t like hating a company I used to hold such respect and love for. I wish I could ignore what they’ve become and just be happy for all the consumerism, but I can’t. I know they don’t care about losing my dollars, it’s insignificant in the grand scheme, but maybe if enough others feel the same, there will be actual change instead of just hoping we can be bought off and distracted with a couple of shiny trailers.