Anticipation regarding Blizzard’s next foray into the Diablo franchise is once again growing – and for good reason. An array of purported leaks and rumors have spread online recently, each claiming to have insider information regarding a prospective Diablo 4. Is Diablo 4 a Witcher-esque single-player title? Is it an isometric MMO? Sadly, no leak has yet been corroborated, making their reliability suspect. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t new Diablo-related information worth getting excited about.
What’s certain as of now is that Blizzard is working on multiple Diablo projects, as confirmed in a “Future of Diablo” video released two months ago. At least one of those projects is a major AAA Diablo project, judging from the constant inflow of high profile job openings listed on Blizzard’s website each under the Diablo tag. It’s the nature of the project that remains a mystery, but one unlikely to last much longer. Blizzard has also confirmed that it plans to share more about its in-the-works Diablo projects this year.
All signs point to BlizzCon 2018 as the event where the next Diablo project will be unveiled. Which brings us to the most recent official news from Blizzard, which has triggered the latest wave of speculation and rumor. Blizzard released its official BlizzCon 2018 schedule this last week, confirming that the first panel to follow the opening ceremony would be a Diablo “What’s Next” event. This scheduling is typically reserved for follow-ups to big announcements made during the BlizzCon opening ceremony. In other words, expect a Diablo announcement at BlizzCon on November 2.
Those few details are all that’s officially confirmed regarding Blizzard’s next Diablo project. Multiple Diablo projects are in development, including at least one AAA game, and Blizzard will likely have something to show during BlizzCon 2018. But that doesn’t mean that the rumors aren’t fun to consider.
In August a 4chan poster claiming to be a World of Warcraft developer made an especially unique claim. His leaks stated that the next Diablo game would be more akin to The Witcher or God of War, an entirely single-player experience meant to rival The Elder Scrolls. They also claimed that a remaster of the original Diablo was in the works. While the claims may be somewhat audacious, the idea that Blizzard is making a game akin to such popular open world games was obviously received with excitement in the gaming community.
A more recent and believable rumor cropped up on Reddit just yesterday. Someone claiming to have a source in Blizzard claims that they’ve learned that the next Diablo would be an online multiplayer evolution of the classic franchise. It’s still isometric and it still features a class-based progression system, but is heavily influenced by ARPG MMOs like Lineage Eternal. In a nutshell, it’s an implementation of Games as a Service features layered onto traditional Diablo gameplay. Given Blizzard’s shift towards online, service-based games in the recent past, this direction for Diablo 4 seems believable, but it’s also extremely unreliable given the “friend of a friend” source.
However likely or unlikely either rumor may be, they’re both rumors with no corroboration. The only reliable truth is that a Diablo game is in the works and it’s likely to be announced during BlizzCon come November 2. But, for now, it’s a great opportunity to discover whether Diablo fans are still excited for more from the franchise. And to think about just what the next Diablo might turn out to be.