Even though this weekend has mostly been about id Software and Bethesda taking control of the media through big announcements and new videos coming out of the QuakeCon event taking place in Grapevine, Texas, Blizzard Entertainment didn't want to pass up an opportunity to extinguish some of Bethesda's fire by making a rather grand announcement about one of its biggest franchises: Diablo. Yes, Blizzard Entertainment announced that Diablo is making its way back into the mainstream space with a brand new slate of content, and the company rolled out a short pitch to gamers to talk about the future of the franchise.
The announcement was made via a tweet from the official Diablo Twitter account. It features a minute long video from community manager Brandy Camel.
The biggest order of business is that Blizzard is working on multiple Diablo projects. What does this mean? Well, details aren't made readily available, but it sounds like the brand could be receiving multiple games. This could include a sequential entry in the series such as Diablo IV, or it could be a series of spinoff games. Camel mentions that some of the projects will take a lot longer than others, but Blizzard will share the first details on the upcoming entries later this year, presumably during BlizzCon. It appears as if Blizzard could be veering focus slightly away from Overwatch to focus on Diablo content in the near future.
Also, hinting at some projects taking longer than others obviously means either a massive expansion pack is in the works, or the team is working on a brand new game. Given that it's been six years since Diablo III came out, it's probably safe to say that the team is working on a brand new game. Now usually if a team is working on a sequel using the same technology, a new title can be churned out within the confines of two to three years.
If a new engine is being developed or new technology is being introduced, it can anywhere between five to eight years of development. It took them years to develop the tech for World of Warcraft, just the same as games like Star Citizen or the original Shenmue spending a lot of time in development in order to build out new technologies.
So it might be a while before we see a new entry in the series if Blizzard is trying to do something wildly new. For Diablo III one of the core features was the Real-Money Auction House, but it was a controversial feature that was eventually pulled from service. Hopefully the next tech leap for the series is something a little more gameplay-oriented.
Camel also explains that for Diablo III there are going to be themed seasons for Season 14. Yes, the game has been around long enough to make its way up to Season 14. The themed seasons will start with the Season of Greed, which is currently underway right now for all of the regions. It features special perks for loot and for chaos.
Details on Season 14's content was made available over on the Diablo III website. The Season 14 content is live right now, but you'll have to wait until the end of the year for details on the new projects Blizzard is working on.