Blizzard’s announcement of Diablo Immortal in 2018 went like a lead balloon. Diablo fans eager for a new game in the series weren’t happy to see the studio opting for a mobile game, and they didn’t hide it, calling it “disrespectful” and a “slap in the face.” . Blizzard acknowledged that the strength of the backlash surprised it (although it was careful to avoid criticizing the “fans” who were responsible for it), and it clearly learned some lessons from the experience. Not that mobile games are bad, mind you, but that big, high-level buildups aren’t necessarily the best way to advertise them.
Perhaps that’s why the first word of a new Warcraft game – for mobile – wasn’t thrown on the main stage at BlizzCon, but in the middle of Activision Blizzard’s financial results statement. for the fourth quarter of 2021. Not that much has been said about it: “Blizzard is planning substantial new content for the Warcraft franchise in 2022, including new experiences in World of Warcraft and Hearthstone, and puts all-new mobile Warcraft content between players’ hands for the first time.”
There are no more details: the game could be something as simple as a revamp of the original Warcraft RTS, some kind of all-new mobile spin-off, or maybe even Hearthstone 2, although that seems extremely unlikely. It could also be that we’ll finally get our hands on the Warcraft-based Pokémon Go-style game we heard about back in 2018. (I personally think the odds are good that’s exactly what it is.)
Whatever Blizzard is up to, it’s clear that the experience with Diablo Immortal hasn’t deterred it from bringing its biggest games to mobile. That’s no surprise: In the same financial report, Activision Blizzard said its mobile net bookings grew 18% year-over-year and accounted for 33% of its total net bookings in the quarter. And while Call of Duty net bookings on PC and consoles actually declined during the quarter, “reflecting lower premium sales for Call of Duty: Vanguard compared to the prior year’s title and lower engagement in Call of Duty: Warzone”, Call of Duty Mobile was up, thanks to continued growth in China.