Diablo Immortal gets a surprise PC launch and release date

A release date for Diablo Immortal, the next entry in the acclaimed action RPG series, has been announced, alongside the surprise reveal that the formerly mobile-exclusive title will also be launching on PC.

Developer Blizzard announced Diablo Immortal will launch on June 2 for Android and iOS devices and will be released into open beta on PC at the same time. The free-to-play multiplayer RPG will support crossplay and cross-progression, letting you play with others across platforms, while retaining all character progression when you switch between PC and mobile.

The game will include controller support for both mobile and PC, and – in a first for the Diablo series – let PC players pick between a traditional point-and-click or WASD-based control scheme to move about Sancturay using their mouse and keyboard.

The announcement of the game’s PC release is something of a surprise. When Diablo Immortal was first teased back in 2018, Blizzard maintained it had no plans to bring the game to other platforms, prompting one Blizzcon crowd to boo the game’s announcers.

Crusader fighting in Diablo Immortal
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Asked in a press briefing why the development team is now bringing the game to PC, game director Wyatt Cheng said the decision was made in response to fan feedback.

“It was and remains our intention to bring Diablo to as many players as possible, and we feel that mobile is an exciting opportunity to bring Diablo to players all around the world who might not experience the fun and joy of a Diablo game otherwise,” he said.

“When we started to go through our alpha and beta testing phases, we saw a lot of players ask for a PC version or talk about a PC version, or other players were talking about how they plan to emulate the game on PC. And we thought, ‘Gosh, if people are going to emulate the game on PC, it’d be really good for us to just create a native client so that people could experience the game on the platform of their choice’”.

“We are still making the game as a mobile-first game, but since our goal is to reach as many players as possible, being on both mobile and PC is the best way to do that.”

Diablo general franchise manager Rob Fergusson further clarified that alpha and beta testers tended to play Diablo Immortal for long periods of time, rather than in short bursts of playtime that users often spend on mobile games.

“We were seeing sessions that were three and four hours long,” Fergusson said. “So we just felt like that having that ability for a person to be able to sit down at their desk and play with a large screen, it would be something that would be desired.”

A Necromancer in Diablo Immortal's PC version
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

He went on to say that although Diablo Immortal is ready to launch, it will be releasing in open beta on PC so the team can continue to receive player feedback surrounding that version of the game. As a “mobile-first” title, its controls and interface have been created with phones and tablets in mind.

“Even though the PC has the moniker of open beta, it’s really an open beta around the interface. It’s really about how you interact with the game, the UI, the controls that are in the open beta of the game,” Fergusson said.

“The game is being released, so all of your progress, everything you do, everything you earn, and so forth will all be retained. Nothing will be lost as we go from open beta to a fully released PC version as well.”

You’ll be able to play as six classes when Diablo Immortal launches on June 2 – Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Necromancer and Wizard. Down the line, you also be able to switch your existing character to a new class after creation while retaining their progression and items. The feature is intended to save players from having to create alt-characters that need re-leveling if they want to try out a new class, but won’t be available on launch day.

Blizzard is also emphasizing the game’s social aspects. You’ll be able to form Warbands with up to eight other players to take on raids and challenges, as well as join clans of up to 150 players. A faction-based PvP system called the Cycle of Strife will also support server-wide battles.

As is standard with mobile games, microtransactions will be included alongside a battle pass for players to progress through. Cheng says the team has taken care to place gameplay design ahead of these monetization features, with all of Diablo Immortal’s main mechanics and entire storyline available to play for free. Cosmetics will be available to purchase, but gear and XP will not.

Original Article

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