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"I can promise everybody that Diablo 4 is in development. I have talked to many people who have worked on it, or seen it, or played it. The game is being made right now. That's not to say the game won't be cancelled, because we have no idea what's going to happen in the coming years, but the game is in development."— Jason Schreier(src)
Diablo IV (codenamed Project Fenris) is a, as of yet, unannounced game in the Diablo series. Although the game has not yet been confirmed, various sources have indicated and/or claimed its existence.
"For die-hard PC fans, we will say though, we still have multiple Diablo teams working on multiple unannounced Diablo projects. So we haven’t forgotten about them. The future is bright. Stay tuned."— Allen Adham(src)
The roots of Diablo IV lie in late 2013 or early 2014, where Diablo III: The King in the North was cancelled, with the instruction that Team 3 move onto Diablo IV, regardless of what form the game might take. Team 3 was split up, with some of its members transferring to different projects within Blizzard. Those that remained were assigned to provide patch support for Diablo III while simultaniously developing Diablo IV. Development of the game began in 2014. The initial project was referred to internally as Hades. However, Hades was cancelled in 2016, and Team 3 began work on Project Fenris.
"Fenris is, all of our sources have confirmed, the current incarnation of Diablo IV. Blizzard’s Team 3 has been working on this version of the game since 2016, and some who have seen it say they’re optimistic about the direction."— Jason Schrier(src)
Work on Project Fenris began in 2016 after the cancellation of Hades. Sources indicate that Fenris remains the current version of Diablo IV, a moniker originally held by Hades to some extent). The project's design director is Luis Barriga. Reportedly, Fenris is aiming to harken to Diablo II in its art direction, that many on Team 3 feel that Diablo III had drifted away from former titles in its art style and spell effects. One of Fenris's design pillars "embrace the darkness." Practically, this has resulted in getting rid of anything that was considered cartoony in Diablo III. There has been debate as to whether the game will use the same over the shoulder camera as Hades, or whether it will use a traditional isometric style. As of November 2018, the game is reportedly using the isometric style.
Another pillar of the game is to make it more social, to incorporate so-called "light MMO elements" into the game. The designers have considered something equivalent to the instanced dungeons of World of Warcraft, or the strikes of Destiny. Another idea is whether the game should use a kind of shared world model, with multiple players on the map at the same time.
Monetization options are being considered.
For BlizzCon 2016, the event's "goodie bag" was sent out ahead of the event to a number of individuals. Not long afterwards, a number of sites reported on an apparent printing error with the dice. Where they should read 1-1-1, they were instead been printed as 1-1-4. It has been suggested that this is a code for the date of the event (the 4th day of the 11th month). Likewise, the insignia on the dice bag was not the Diablo III logo, but rather a four-sided compass with four smaller points, with a "D" located inside a square (a four-sided shape). Media speculated that this was a hint at a supposed "Diablo IV" game. No such game was revealed at the event.
In January 2017, Julian Love stated that in regards to another main series installment, "I think everyone wants that." In February 2017, David Brevik stated that "there's no doubt in my mind" that there would be a Diablo IV. At BlizzCon 2017, Brandy Camel confirmed that Blizzard was "exploring what's next" for the franchise, but that they had nothing to show (to the public) yet. Diablo content creators were asked for feedback on what they speculated would be in the works.
"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."— A statement from Blizzard on the subject of Diablo IV(src)
Reportedly, 2018 was decided as the year where the game would be revealed. In January, it was planned to have a playable demo released in the year. By May, the game had progressed slower than anticipated, but the decision to reveal the game this year still remained.
In September, Goldman Sachs sent a message to investors advising them of several launch announcements at BlizzCon 2018, including Diablo IV and a Diablo or Warcraft mobile title. In October 2018, a "Reign of Terror" title was leaked via BlizzCon 2018 merchandise. Afterwards, addressing the issue, Blizzard stated "these are names and copy used for some of the new products available at BlizzCon this year, and not direct references to content at the show." In the same month, Blizzard stated that it wouldn't announce all of its Diablo projects at the event.
At BlizzCon 2018, Wyatt Cheng confirmed that in addition to Diablo Immortal, other Diablo games were in development. In an interview with Kotaku, Allen Adham stated that Blizzard had expected some backlash to the game, but "not to this degree" and "that being said, we knew our audience here desperately wants to see and hear about one thing in particular." Nathan Grayson noted that Blizzard had made a blog post that had effectively told fans not to expect Diablo IV, but postulated that some might have taken this as an attempt at reverse psychology. Adham confirmed in the same interview that the blog post had indeed been intended to dissuade fan expectation for Diablo IV. At a BlizzCon 2018 press conference, Adham stated that multiple Diablo games were being worked on, indicating that at least some of them would be playable on PC. In a separate interview, he indicated that the same held true for console games.
A few days after the event, a separate Kotaku article by Schrier claimed that Blizzard had originally intended to reveal Diablo IV at the event, but had pulled the video beforehand. The article was updated after a response from Blizzard, stating that they had made no such plans. However, the Schrier stated that the video had indeed been confirmed to exist, but that the point of contention was as to whether it had originally been meant to be shown, and two separate sources within Blizzard had confirmed its existence. The sources further claimed that the game had been in development since at least 2014, but had changed drastically over the last four years and had gone through two different directors. In a follow-up podcast, he reiterated that he had been in contact with those who had developed, seen, and/or playtested the game. Later in the month, he posted a followup article after talking to 11 (former) Blizzard employees under conditions of anonymity. Reportedly, the game is intended for PC and console release, but as of November 2018, Team 3 has not decided whether the game will have a simultanious release, or whether one platform will follow the other. It was noted that many of the design decisions of the game are still up in the air, and it was estimated that Fenris would get a 2020 or later release. On the subject as to the supposedly planned reveal of the game, one employee commented that Team 3 was "paranoid" about revealing the game too soon. Reportedly, Titan and StarCraft: Ghost still hang over Blizzard. Ghost was announced and never released. Titan was never announced, but its existence had been leaked, and it had been a huge sink of time and money, even if Overwatch had resulted from it. In a statement from Blizzard, they confirmed that they would not share details with unannounced projects until they were ready, and this included games in the Diablo series as well.
In an interview at BlizzCon, Adham stated that future Diablo PC games would be rated M.
In December 2018, Blizzard stated "we have many plans for Diablo across multiple projects which we'll be revealing over the course of the coming year. We are eager to share more about all of our projects, but some will have to wait as we prefer to show you, rather than tell you, about them."
In January 2019, Blizzard recovered the Diablo4.com domain name. In February, games journalist Marcus Sellars reported that Activision Blizzard had four Diablo games in development—Diablo IV, a prequel, and two spin-offs. In the same month, Activision confirmed that "several Diablo projects" were in the works. In June 2019, it was reported that staff had been transferred from canceled Blizzard projects to work on the game. In the same month, it was reported that the game had been showcased to Blizzard employees, and that the game would not be released before 2020.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 2019-06-26, Diablo 4 Apparently Shown to French Employees. Diablo.net, accessed on 2019-06-26
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2018-11-22, The Past, Present, And Future Of Diablo. Kotaku, accessed on 2018-11-22
- ↑ 2018-11-06, DIABLO IMMORTAL: CLASSES, ABILITIES, WORLD, AND Q&A AT BLIZZCON 2018. Blizzpro, accessed on 2018-11-13
- ↑ 2016-06-29, UNANNOUNCED DIABLO PROJECT NOW HIRING GAME DIRECTOR. Blizzpro, accessed on 2016-07-03
- ↑ 2016-09-30, Diablo 4 job postings filled, Diablo 3 confirmed maintenance mode?. YouTube, accessed on 2016-10-04
- ↑ 2016-07-29, Latest Diablo 4 rumours involve the Blizzcon 2016 goody bag and a misprinted D4. PC Games, accessed on 2016-07-30
- ↑ 2016-07-28, BlizzCon 2016 Goodie Bag: Diablo IV Announcement Conspiracy. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2016-07-30
- ↑ 2016-07-29, Rhykker Discusses the D4 BlizzCon Dice Conspiracy. Diablo Fans, accessed on 2016-07-30
- ↑ 2017-01-04, Developer Insights: 20 years of Diablo. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2017-01-23
- ↑ 2017-02-17, DIABLO 4 Will Happen, According to Diablo 2 Lead Dev David Brevik (Interview). YouTube, accessed on 2017-04-08
- ↑ 2017-11-05, DIABLO III: EXPLORING COMMUNITY. Blizzpro, accessed on 2017-19-11
- ↑ 2018-09-19, Goldman Sachs expects OW expansion at Blizzcon. Reddit, accessed on 2018-09-24
- ↑ 2018-10-12, Diablo 4 Reign of Terror LEAKED via BlizzCon 2018 exclusive merchandise. Daily Star, accessed on 2018-10-12
- ↑ 2018-10-12, Blizzard Denies Diablo: Reign Of Terror Is A BlizzCon Leak. GameSpot, accessed on 2018-10-13
- ↑ 2018-10-17, Diablo at BlizzCon 2018. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2018-10-22
- ↑ 2018-11-05, Diablo Devs Try Again To Convince Fans They're Making A New Diablo Without Saying It. Kotaku, accessed on 2018-11-05
- ↑ 2018-11-05, Blizzard Says It Wasn't Expecting Fans To Be This Angry About Diablo Immortal. Kotaku, accessed on 2018-11-05
- ↑ 2018-11-08, Diablo IV was teased at BlizzCon 2018 Press Conference. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2018-11-09
- ↑ 2018-11-07,Rhykker Reaction: The Diablo Immortal Fiasco at Blizzcon 2018. YouTube, accessed on 2018-11-09
- ↑ 2018-11-06, Blizzard Scrapped Plans For Diablo 4 Video. Kotaku, accessed on 2018-11-09
- ↑ 2018-11-09, Some Theories About The Diablo Immortal Backlash. Kotaku, accessed on 2018-11-09
- ↑ 2018-11-06, 블리즈컨 2018, 디아블로 이모탈 인터뷰 정리!. YouTube, accessed on 2018-11-09
- ↑ 2018-11-29, Another Post from Blizzard on Diablo Projects. Diablo.net, accessed on 2018-12-02
- ↑ 2019-07-06, Diablo Immortal Clone FAILS in China; Diablo 4 Domain Registered by Blizzard; Diablo 1 on Switch.... YouTube, accessed on 2019-07-07
- ↑ 2019-02-21, Marcus Sellars. Twitter, accessed on 2019-03-05
- ↑ 2019, February, Blizzard is hiring more Diablo devs to work on 'several projects'. PC Gamer, accessed on 2019-03-13
- ↑ 2019-06-06, Blizzard rumored to have canceled StarCraft FPS game to focus on Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2. Blizzard Watch, accessed on 2019-06-13