Does Blizzard Entertainment plan to start work on Diablo IV instead of finalizing the story of Diablo III with its second expansion? All signs are leading to a yes.
Chronologically, the following things have, are, and will be happening:
- Blizzcon 2015 did not have any new Diablo III announcements. There was no mention of a second expansion for Diablo III, even though the earliest official mentions were in 2014’s Activision-Blizzard’s shareholder meeting. Right before the launch of Reaper of Souls, the shareholders were notified that a second expansion was already in the works.
- Patch 2.4, currently in the PTR, feels like an expansion in itself. The list of changes and improvements is huge. Previous patches were also large, free, and greatly improved the pace of the game. Patch 2.4, however, feels like a small and almost final expansion.
- On June 6th, Jay Wilson announced via Twitter that he was retiring from Blizzard and game development. Wilson managed everything that was Diablo III until Reaper of Souls and while his words were met with excitement in the beta, a lot of negative backlash was sent his way after the release of the game.
- On July 1st, Josh Mosqueira also announced that he was leaving Blizzard Entertainment. Mosqueira had been added to the team to take the reins from Wilson and save Diablo III. And he did. Reaper of Souls feels like the Diablo III people waited for.
- Each Reaper of Souls patch brought new content, amazing balance changes and improvements. The game even runs better on desktops with less crashing and latency spikes.
- Blizzard Entertainment immediately posted a new job offer after Josh Mosqueira’s announcement. The position is for a game director for an unannounced project.
Blizzard is looking for a visionary and capable leader, able to socially address the masses, and to create an epic gaming experience. Having released triple-A titles in the past is a plus, according to the page.
Diablo, The Lord of Terror, Still Lives! (Right?)
From the outside, looking in, it is very hard to tell what exactly happened with the Diablo III team. Patch 2.4 now feels like a final parting gift from Wilson and Mosqueira. Having both heads behind the Lord of Terror announce they are quitting the company cannot be a mere coincidence either.
Blizzcon 2016 will probably tease Diablo IV. Maybe they will even have a trailer ready.
Blizzard Entertainment has this tendency to move on from projects once they are launched and working. World of WarCraft The Burning Crusade is a prime example of a project that needed a lot of TLC but got none.
The story of Diablo III Reaper of Souls officially ended with a bit of a cliffhanger, teasing the possibility of the main character going darkside. It would have been an interesting transition but now we may never know.
Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.