Blizzard’s newest title, Diablo: Immortal, was originally scheduled to be released in China on June 23, 2022. However, just days before that, it has officially been delayed.
Diablo: Immortal is part of the world-renowned Diablo franchise. Diablo: Immortal is the fifth installment in the franchise and is the first to have an in-game shop for microtransactions as well as the first of the franchise to be available as a mobile game.
The announcement first came on the official forums of the Chinese Diablo web page and was translated by Daniel Ahmad. Blizzard is stating that the release is being delayed so that it can work on a variety of different issues. The work in progress includes optimization to general player experience, networking, and fixing performance issues. Blizzard is also trying to increase the graphics capabilities of different mobile phone models as well as making the game more accessible to a wider range of models. As an apology for the delay, Chinese players will be receiving free rare loot in Diablo: Immortal upon its release.
There hasn’t been any information given by Blizzard about a new release date for Diablo: Immortal in China. In the official announcement, Blizzard stated “We believe that the game experience will be smoother in the official launch version, bringing you better game content.” The announcement came after the Chinese Social Media Company, Weibo, banned the official Diablo: Immortal page from making posts citing “violations of laws and regulations.” This delay hasn’t changed that Diablo: Immortal is the most successful launch in franchise history.
Even though it’s completely free-to-play, Diablo: Immortal has seen controversy from its western audiences due to the microtransactions available in the game. It’s important to note that the “pay-to-win” model is seldom well received in western markets, with countries like The Netherlands and Belgium banning the practice, but typically do well in eastern markets. Fans of the franchise could be looking at the whirlwind of controversy and the delay of the Chinese release as a sign that the game is bound to fail.
It’s important to note that microtransactions in Diablo: Immortal give players an advantage, but are not necessary to play through the game. Players can play through its entirety at a casual pace without utilizing the in-game shop at all, but are restricted to the amount of rifts they can clear within a certain timeframe. Microtransactions mostly affect players who want to reach the end-game as quickly as possible and play competitive PvP.
Diablo: Immortal is currently available to play for free on Android, iOS, and PC.