Diablo: Immortal has been receiving backlash from the moment it was announced, as the disgruntled Blizzcon attendees quickly made their disdain for the new Diablo mobile title known.
The backlash against Diablo: Immortal spread online, with forums and Reddit pages overflowing with bile towards the game. The two trailers for Diablo: Immortal quickly received hundreds of thousands of dislikes, which prompted some shady behavior on Blizzard's part as they tried to censor and misdirect the hatred towards the game.
An organized campaign of anger may sound like a regular everyday occurrence to a video game fan, but the backlash against Diablo: Immortal has taken a tangible turn that will cost Activision Blizzard a lot of money.
The vocal backlash against Diablo: Immortal, the title that was meant to spearhead a movement into the lucrative mobile gaming market, caused Activision Blizzard's stock value to drop by 6.74% by the end of the business day.
This kind of reaction may seem like a catastrophic blow to Activision Blizzard, but they are playing the long game when it comes to their mobile endeavors.
A Diablo mobile game has the potential to be a huge earner for the company, as the reach of the mobile market far exceeds that of their vocal fanbase of predominantly PC gamers. If Diablo: Immortal is a success, then this dip in their stock value will be a drop in the bucket compared to the kind of revenue that they will be bringing in.
Blizzard's reaction to this whole debacle seems to be a case of weathering the storm. Diablo: Immortal doesn't have a set release date, so all they have to do is wait for the anger of the fans to die down before releasing the game. If Diablo: Immortal is any good, then the backlash will be forgotten.
Blizzard could have easily saved themselves a lot of aggravation by including even the briefest teaser for a new Diablo IV game at Blizzcon, as even a title card would have been enough to reassure most fans about the future of the series. The tone-deaf attitude that Blizzard has demonstrated to their hardcore fanbase is baffling, which is why the backlash has taken an actual toll on the company.