Diablo Immortal will be entering Alpha testing this year, according to Activision. The publisher discussed the topic during the latest investors call. Activision also detailed the progress of the Diablo Immortal project during the call as reported by GameSpot.
Diablo Immortal is making progress according to Activision, although we still do not have a release date. Blizzcon 2019 showcased an updated version of the game, and the company has been proceeding with additional internal play-tests since.
The next stage of development will include regional Alpha tests this year. According to Blizzard, these tests will provide “invaluable” feedback about the mobile game. We have no further information about the tests themselves, although they are going to begin in mid 2020.
Blizzard is working closely with NetEase to deliver an “authentic” Diablo experience for mobile with Immortal, says Activision. Activision states that mobile presents a “very substantial” opportunity for Blizzard and that Blizzard is currently working on other mobile projects in addition to PC and console games.
Diablo Immortal caused a huge backlash during it’s reveal in Blizzcon 2018 since the announcement was not accompanied with any news about the PC sequel of the series. Diablo 4 made it’s debut during Blizzcon 2019 however a full release is far off.
Vision for the Story of Diablo Immortal
Diablo Immortal takes place in the twenty-year gap between Diablo 2 and 3, showing many familiar heroes and villains during the era before Diablo 3. The game brings familiar heroes like the Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Wizard, and the Necromancer to the table. Players will be able to piece together the events that happened during the unknown period after Diablo 2. In GameSpot’s chat with designer Wyatt Cheng, he elaborated on their vision for the story of the game.
“We were looking at this 20 year period in between Diablo II, Lord of Destruction, and Diablo III, and we felt that we should take a look at creating a game that explores that space in that time. We like to say that it’s like Star Wars: Rogue One, which is an amazing movie. That movie takes place in between three and four, but it can be watched as a movie on its own. And it’s a great movie on its own. But then if you know the lore of three and four, you’re like, “Oh my goodness, this happened and that happened, and that’s Vader, and whoa,” and it completes the picture for you.”
I have poured countless hours into Diablo 3 (despite being a critique for it’s simplified talent and loot systems) so this game is something I am definitely looking forward to. I just hope Blizzard maintains their promise that the micro-transactions in Diablo Immortal will be cosmetic only! However, we will get a glimpse of it during the Diablo Immortal alpha period.