Wyatt Cheng shares more info on Diablo Immortal, NetEase and Blizzard collaboration


Wyatt Cheng, Diablo Immortal’s lead game designer, shared some additional info about Blizzard’s goals with Diablo Immortal and their collaboration with NetEase.

You can find the video interview here and we outlined the key takeaways further down in the article:

Key takeaways

  • The goal of Diablo Immortal is to tell untold tales that take place in a 20 years long time frame between Diablo II and Diablo III
  • The game is intended to be played in a variety of life scenarios, ranging from “a quick toilet play” to full on raids that require your full focus
  • NetEase and Blizzards were partners for 10 years and this is not the first time Blizzard works with an external studio (mentions Condor’s involvement on Diablo I)
  • NetEase made sense as they already make some of the top selling ARPGs on mobile and they are already a partner Blizzard has experience with
  • Cheng did not want to comment on the details of NetEase and Blizzard development process
  • The design process behind Diablo Immortal involves (apparently) a lot of back and forth between Blizzard and NetEase
  • NetEase are huge Diablo fans and players, but their culture is fundamentally different from Blizzard’s
  • Monetization and in-app purchases are not something the team is discussing right now: “Make a great game first”
  • Cheng emphasizes that people should “[…] rethink what a mobile game can be. I want to challenge those assumptions.”
  • Diablo Immortal will have immersive graphics and surprise players

Metahub’s take

It’s clear that Cheng is passionate about the project, and it’s also quite clear why Blizzard went with NetEase, but we’re still puzzled by the marketing behind the game. If the game is truly a new Diablo franchise project, why aren’t we seeing more nitty-gritty features showcased?

We have this feeling that the game will not feature in depth talent trees and character variety, as we’re still not convinced that the 12 spell system with 5 ability slots can extend itself far enough.

If you are to calculate the total number of possible builds from what we’re given (we’re talking about up to 12 spells that can fit into 5 ability slots, no repetition allowed), you get 792 possible combinations, which in all honesty, is not that much at all.