Update: In a statement to Kotaku, Blizzard responded to the report by denying the planned teaser and of any last minute changes. Blizzard also reiterated it was working on multiple Diablo projects. The full statement below:
“First off we want to mention that we definitely hear our community. We generally don’t comment on rumors or speculation, but we can say that we didn’t pull any announcements from BlizzCon this year or have plans for other announcements. We do continue to have different teams working on multiple unannounced Diablo projects, and we look forward to announcing when the time is right.”
While the new from BlizzCon this weekend focused on the negative reaction to Blizzard and NetEase's new mobile game Diablo Immortal, the original schedule for the Blizzard event apparently included a brief teaser for Diablo 4 that was removed at the last-minute.
By all accounts ending Blizzard's big opening ceremony with a Diablo mobile game announcement did seem a little strange but according to a new Kotaku report the original plan was to tease Diablo 4 to reassure fans that a mainline Diablo title was in-development. However, those plans changed last minute, and the only thing shown was Diablo Immortal to the ire of some Diablo fans.
According to two sources the Diablo 4 news might have been withheld since Diablo 4's development "changed drastically" over the four years it was in-development. The report says Diablo 4 had gone through two different iterations under two different directors.
Meanwhile fans online angry over the news accused Blizzard and NetEase (Blizzard's Chinese partner and co-developer on Immortal) of reskinning an existing NetEase mobile game for Diablo Immortal. Blizzard clarified that the joint-venture is being built from the ground up. The Diablo Immortal announcement trailer has also been bombed with negative reviews and comments with thumbs-down reactions far outweighing any thumbs-up positive reactions.
Blizzard itself tried to come out ahead of the reaction by publishing a Diablo-focused blog post in the weeks leading up to BlizzCon which said that there are several Diablo projects in the works from several Diablo teams, Diablo 4 presumably one of them. However, the blog post seemed to have been insufficient in tempering fan expectations for what to expect Diablo-wise at BlizzCon.
Diablo fans also got Diablo 3: Eternal Collection on the Nintendo Switch on the first day of BlizzCon, but with all the Diablo talk in the air it's unclear if it contributed in some way to how fans reacted to the Diablo Immortal announcement at BlizzCon.
We reached out to Blizzard for comment and were told they are readying a statement and we are awaiting a response.