Mounting rumors suggest Blizzard may be on the cusp of announcing Diablo 4 at this year’s edition of BlizzCon later this month. Although speculation about whether Blizzard will or won’t announce the next Diablo title has become somewhat of a ritual at this point, all signs point towards this being the year it happens.
Art Book Ad Mentions Diablo 4
An ad for the upcoming concept art book ‘The Art of Diablo’ in the latest edition of German gaming magazine GameStar mentions Diablo 4. It reads (translated from German);
Featuring over 500 artworks from Diablo, Diablo II, Diablo III, and Diablo IV, this book features many noteworthy artworks created for Blizzard Entertainment’s iconic action RPG, which has given generations of fans everlasting nightmares.
It’s worth noting this isn’t some third-party publication but one officially curated by a senior writer on Blizzard’s creative development team, Robert Brooks.
We can’t completely disregard this as a typo (did they mean Diablo Immortal?) that inadvertently found its way into the publication. But, with the book set for release after BlizzCon, it would complement an official announcement in a timely fashion.
Twitter Weighs In
Allied to the magazine listing are rumblings on Twitter hinting at a Diablo 4 announcement, specifically a tweet coming from Overwatch streamer, Metro, who penned the following;
At face value, the announcement appears confirmed, but grand proclamations of insider information about big publisher plans more often than not turn out to be duds, so a degree of caution is recommended.
Planned Announcement At BlizzCon 2018 Sidelined
Nevertheless, Metro’s prediction may be on the money. Kotaku reported that Blizzard had plans to announce Diablo 4 at last year’s BlizzCon. These fell through as development hit roadblocks, and the announcement was pushed back.
In the lead up to BlizzCon 2018, Blizzard more or less confirmed Diablo 4 was in development with a blog post before the event. The pertinent passage said;
BlizzCon 2018 is almost here and we’ve seen a lot of rumors flying around about our plans for Diablo at the show. These are very exciting times—we currently have multiple teams working on different Diablo projects and we can’t wait to tell you all about them . . . when the time is right.
With an extra year to percolate within Blizzard’s development team, the right time could be in a couple of weeks.
Blizzard Needs Diablo 4-Shaped Redemption
In light of last week’s PR disaster involving the ban of Hearthstone pro player Blitzchung after he called for the liberation of Hong Kong during an official Grandmasters live stream and the subsequent backlash, including calls to boycott the company’s games, Blizzard needs a win.
Additionally, last year’s Diablo Immortal announcement goes down as one of the most uncomfortable reveals in gaming history that left many disappointed.
A Diablo 4 announcement would not only placate die-hard fans of the series hungry for a genuine mainline successor but could be the first step in Blizzard’s long journey to redeem itself in the eyes of the gaming community.