With Diablo Immortal on the way in less than a month, you’d be totally forgiven for not realizing that Diablo III just celebrated its 10th anniversary on May 15th. And my “celebrated,” I mean “Blizzard completely ignored the milestone save for a lazy tweet and one developer who went off on his own to do a Q&A with the community.” If there was ever a more clear sign that this studio completely gave up on Diablo III, I don’t know what it would be.
But save for slapping the reset switch on seasons every so often, Blizzard hasn’t cared about D3 in a long, long time. A little historical perspective: Diablo III sold 3.5 million copies in its first day and 30 million by 2015. It came out with exactly one (1) expansion, Reaper of Souls, in 2014, created a retro Diablo 1 mode in 2017, and expanded onto multiple consoles by 2014. Word is that a second expansion was being made, but Blizzard canned it and moved most of the team to World of Warcraft. The Necromancer was added in a sort of mini-expansion in 2017. The most significant recent movement for the game was getting it onto Nintendo Switch in 2018.
It’s not completely maintenance mode, but with no new content being made, all expansion development ceased, and other titles (D2’s remake, Diablo IV, and Diablo Immortal) taking over the franchise, Diablo III’s been dead in the water for some time now. People may still like it and play it, but the game has no future.
And it’s not like I have any personal stake in this. I don’t really play this (or most ARPGs, to be honest), and I understand that sometimes you’ve got to move on with the next thing. But it’s always seemed to me that Blizzard let Diablo III die long before it had to. It’s a good, solid game, and it’s not hard to imagine how further expansions could’ve added more multiplayer activities, classes, and other reasons to get engaged.
Maybe that’s the Diablo curse? One expansion, and then we’re through with you. Diablo I and II know this all too well. Perhaps it’s simply not a series conducive by metrics or financial reports to continue for a lengthy period of time. Just seems like a shame to me, is all.