Grinding Gear Games has revealed a Path of Exile mobile game in development, and the announcement trailer is a glorious two minutes of satire at the expense of Blizzard Entertainment for their own upcoming game, Diablo Immortal. The developer had much to say about their decision-making process in creating a mobile version of their game, and almost everything was a critique of Blizzard’s disastrous 2018 BlizzCon announcement.
The video begins with Jonathan Rogers, the technical director and co-founder of the company stating, “So, mobile games are kind of bullshit, right? You know, peddling microtransactions, time gates, energy bars, random nag screens, notifications, video ads, you get the idea. There’s really a lot of evil garbage going around in mobile games today.”
Rogers then goes on to describes how in 2013 when Path of Exile launched, the same could be said of many free to play PC games. The last six years have clearly been a great example of how to do right by a player base, as Path of Exile has been a critical and commercial success, and now has a sequel in development with its core user in mind.
Trevor Gamon is next to come on and speak about the mobile game, and most notable is that he is referenced as the Mobile Fall Guy. Gamon describes their process, stating, “Our goal is to bring Path of Exile to mobile with absolutely zero compromise.”
It is subtle, but those who watched the reveal of BlizzCon 2018 will certainly understand. When Diablo Immortal was announced, and the reception was, understandably, overwhelmingly negative. The video below gives a brief glimpse into how the developers found themselves doing their best to deflect questions about a product that no one expected, and no one wanted.
Next up was Chris Wilson, the managing director, who “We wanted to make something that is a real Path of Exile game. We didn’t just farm it out to an external studio. It’s developed entirely by our team here in New Zealand.” This again was a heavy point of contention when Blizzard announced Diablo Immortal, because not only did fans expect a true sequel for the PCs with Diablo 4, but the entire mobile game was being developed NetEase, and players were quick to note how it looks and felt like a reskin of an existing game.
Wilson goes on to describe how the mobile game will retain all of the complex and deep systems of customization that Path of Exile is known for, whereas Diablo Immortal looks to have a watered down version of its Diablo 3 system, which has already been criticized for being too simplistic.
The most fascinating aspect of this reveal is how subtle the message is. If one were not familiar with the Diablo Immortal fiasco, they may see this reveal and see only a passionate description by the developer of their plans for the future, whereas it also cuts deep at the core problems evident today in the gaming industry. Time will tell, and it will be great to compare both games side by side when they are eventually released.