Activision Blizzard Stock Tumbles Following Diablo Immortal Backlash

Irene MckinneyNov 06, 2018

The general sentiment coming out of BlizzCon surrounding Diablo Immortal was negative, and this theoretically presents an optics problem and it likely explains why investors might have been spooked.

Blizzard has been attempting damage control since the Diablo Immortal announcement hit the web, so at this point, it is hard to lean one way or the other.

Despite asking fans to reel in their expectations for Diablo-related news at BlizzCon 2018, it turns out the company had plans to tease the development of Diablo 4 anyway.

If Blizzard had shared a teaser for Diablo 4 at BlizzCon, even a wafer-thin one like a GIF of a flaming "4", Diablo Immortal's reception may have been more positive. But rather than remain a celebration of Blizzard's IPs and community, BlizzCon 2018 quickly devolved into a source of frustration for people disappointed by the announcement of Diablo Immortal, a free-to-play game exclusive to mobile platforms. As it turns out, Kotaku has learned, Blizzard had originally planned to tease Diablo 4, but pulled those plans at the last minute. The fan backlash against the game was strong enough that Activision Blizzard's stock price was impacted. Kotaku's sources say the presentation was supposed to end with a video featuring Blizzard co-founder Allen Adham solidifying plans for a Diablo 4 while assuaging fans wanting to see footage. In the face of this controversy, as Blizzard faces a marketing crisis, one upcoming game has already attempted to appeal to frustrated Diablo fans. "We do continue to have different teams working on multiple unannounced Diablo projects, and we look forward to announcing when the time is right." the statement reads.

"Some of them are going to take longer than others, but we may have some things to show you later this year", Camel said.

Morgan Stanley's Brian Nowak suggested "Diablo Immortal" could eventually have more than 200 million monthly active users, and that it could generate annual earnings of as much as $2.52 a share.

Fortunately, game development isn't like dating, because if it were Blizzard might consider calling the whole thing off.

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