Remember Diablo IV? That game we were expecting to be announced at BlizzCon 2018, when we got Diablo Immortal instead? I’m sure you must. Well, Blizzard has finally nailed down a launch date of June 6, 2023 for it.
Also, didn’t all hell break loose for the Diablo III launch… in unexpected ways?
That is a little less than six months away, but Blizzard has a pre-order ready and available for you if you just can’t wait to be a part of whatever is available right now.
As part of the early order options you can get a head start in the game… maybe. That implies the launch in my mind, but elsewhere it says early access to open beta… because you can’t wait to get in there are start testing for Bobby Kotick! And even if that were appealing, I’m not sure I trust something framed as “up to 4 days early access” from Blizz these days. But maybe it is both open beta and game launch. They’re a little ambiguous in their messaging.
Also, that early access only applies to the two more expensive version of the game, not the standard edition, so it directly costs $20. And, of course there are different versions of the game.
If you go over to the Blizzard store you’ll see you will be paying between $70 and $100 for the game depending on which package you choose.
That, honestly, isn’t a huge gap between the low and high prices, though I have been conditioned by the pricing gaps in MMO expansion packages, where Daybreak can run from $35 to $250.
Aside from the early start options and being allowed into the open beta, the extras include items for other Blizzard games, Diablo III, Diablo Immortal, and World of Warcraft retail being on the list. That is probably smart because you know there is a tier of obsessive WoW fans who will buy Diablo IV just to get the mount in WoW.
And if I sound a bit jaded or cynical about all of this, it is because I am. But it is more than just BlizzCon 2018, and how Diablo Immortal turned out, and the fact that they are going full on into battle passes and add on expenses to make this potentially the most expensive version of Diablo to play at a competitive level, though that will be a tough crown to wrest from Diablo Immortal. It is a reflection of the company’s behavior overall, from Bobby Kotick on down. Things like union busting and more crunch hours for devs… especially those working on Diablo IV, so that June 6th date seems less than concrete… along with the general tone from the company over the last few years, something not enhanced by the Microsoft buyout that made them seem even less interested in the end users at times.
Which is not to say I am completely sour on the prospect of Diablo IV. I like the sound of some of the things planned for it like the more open world, the darker aspect of the game, and some of the character and skill things I have read. But we’re six months out from launch and I have no interest in handing over $70 in the middle of an already expensive holiday season for something I won’t touch until June at the earliest.
So we shall see. I might be ready to roll when the launch comes. Right now though, I’ll let the news and the offers roll on by. I don’t need that mount in retail WoW, because I am not even playing retail WoW.
- Blizzard – Diablo IV site