In a week that has been an public relations object lesson in making things worse by trying to make them better, Blizzard co-founder Allen Adham has revealed that many of Blizzard's best developers are working on mobile games. The company is also busy developing mobile titles across all its franchises, he said.
The news comes courtesy of a Korean Youtuber, who published segments of a press briefing on his channel, 리뷰빌런 하텍. Adham was responding to questions along with Diablo Immortals lead designer Wayne Cheng.
"Many of us over the last few years have shifted from playing primarily desktop to playing many hours on mobile. We have many of our best developers now working on new mobile titles across all of our IPs," Adham said.
"We have more new products in development today at Blizzard than we've ever had in our history and our future is very bright."
Looking at the video, Adham was probably trying to reassure fans that Diablo Immortal would not be a typical mobile rip-off with poor gameplay. That it was not some cheap cash-grab, but part of a company-wide mobile strategy.
Unfortunately, how it came across was that Blizzard itself was no longer mainly playing games the way their core fans do — on PC — and that they had moved some of their best resources off of PC titles and onto mobile games.
The statement that Blizzard was working on more new projects than ever before, in this context, also reinforced the belief that there was a lack of focus at the company. If not a lack of focus in general, then certainly a lack of focus on the kinds of games hard-core fans were expecting from Blizzard.
Besides the less-than-reassuring comments in the first part of his answer, Adham provided more details about Blizzard's mobile strategy, saying not all of the mobile games in development at the company were being handled by external partners like NetEase is doing for Diablo Immortals.
"Many of them are being developed internally only and we'll have information to share on those in the future," Adham said.
At the end of the video, Adham is far more reassuring than in his earlier answer. Here's a transcription of his full answer to the final question:
For almost three decades, Blizzard has made many new games, different game types, different IPs, across many different platforms. We are always pushing ourselves to innovate and to try new things. This is just one new thing in a long history of making new things. For our die-hard PC fans we will say that we have multiple Diablo teams working on multiple Diablo projects. We haven't forgotten about them. The future is bright. Stay tuned.