Bad Press: Disappointed With Diablo? You Are Toxic and Hate Women

The next Diablo game has been announced and this is only the second time that Blizzard is playing damage control. Yesterday at BlizzCon, Blizzard announced Diablo Immortal, a mobile spinoff set in the franchise universe between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3. The game will be coming to Android and iOS devices, with pre-registration already open as of this article’s publishing.

Needless to say, the crowd was not amused after Blizzard revealed the title, and it looks like the developer was caught heavily off guard by the overwhelmingly negative response. The BlizzCon announcement was met with heavy booing from the crowd, several sarcastic questions during the Q&A (“Is this an April Fool’s joke?”), with Blizzard’s reps eventually shouting at the crowd. The Youtube videos have been heavily downvoted with the cinematic trailer sitting at 227k downvotes to 7.6k upvotes, and Blizzard went as far as to reupload the trailer in an apparent effort to reset the like/dislike ratio.

But this wouldn’t be a Bad Press article without examining how certain members of the games media have used this as an excuse to show their contempt for gamers, like Gamespot’s Mike Mahardy who in response to the April Fool’s joke stated:

Don’t be too harsh on Mike, his company has bills to pay and the Blizzard advertising coffers are enormous. Madeleine Rose over at J!nx, where you can buy hundreds of Blizzard-branded products at a fantastic markup ($70 for a Diablo III hoodie), was astonished and grossed by the “entitlement” of the community.

IGN’s Sean Finnegan went on the offensive, calling gamers the “most cynical, toxic, and entitled fandom in all of entertainment.” Sean fights for the users, just not the ones who don’t like the products made by the guys who advertise for the website he gets a paycheck from.

Over at Mashable, the website for superfans and not for the casually curious, Adam Rosenberg penned the Op-Ed “Diablo Immortal controversy is really just entitled gamers shouting,” where he proceeds to call gamers assholes for not responding positively to the announcement. (Archived link to article)

“A segment of the Blizzard fan community is mad because of some stupid bullshit they’ve manufactured entirely out of their own ignorance. That “April Fool’s joke” guy was an asshole for asking that question. And if you’re holding that guy up as some kind of a hero, or even just attacking Blizzard for making something you’re not into, you’re an asshole too.”

Mashable’s Kellen Beck responded to a self-described tantrum by throwing a tantrum with an op-ed titled “Diablo Immortal is actually fun, you entitled babies.”

“From what I saw and played, Diablo Immortal is a fun, quality Diablo game that retains that special something that makes the franchise so special. You don’t have to play it, but whining online makes you sound like a literal infant.”

Professional public relations account director Will Powers (formerly DeepSilver and Playstation)

Thankfully there are plenty of members of the press taking a level headed approach and actually discussing the game itself. Polygon’s Ryan Gilliam wrote “Diablo: Immortal feels like a Diablo game, just not one that’s for me.” Owen S. Good of the same Polygon wrote a piece noting concern that the game is being developed by NetEase and looks a lot like a reskin of another one of NetEase’s mobile titles. James over at IGN posted a hands-on noting that the controls are intuitive, the dungeons are impressive with more complicated bosses, however characters do not show armor changes in this development build and there is no resource pool.

A number of photos have circulated of the Diablo: Immortal booth at BlizzCon being virtually disregarded with hardly anyone in line or using the demo units.

Of course, this is just a small snippet of what can be found on the web. It’s always good to have a reminder of how quickly some people in the press get angry when customers don’t just shut up and get excited about products.

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