Articles » Blizzard has gone all-in on mobile gaming - but was that a smart decision?

Blizzard has gone all-in on mobile gaming - but was that a smart decision?

Blizzard has gone all-in on mobile gaming - but was that a smart decision? download

Most people probably wouldn't be shocked if by the end of 2021 we had predicted that the beginning of 2022 would be filled with game titles for mobile phones. Some of the world's largest companies are indicating that the shift to a stronger focus towards mobile devices is based on the principle of making the games available to as many players as possible which has a positive connotation.

From an industrial and commercial perspective, however, it is much easier to make people addicted to content on phones than other devices (such as computers or tablets) due to the fact that most people constantly have a mobile in their pocket or hand throughout a given day. And with push notifications, it's even possible for the company to remind you that the game (as well as its treasures and cash shop) is waiting for you.

Blizzard's two new mobile games have been announced

Within the last few weeks, Blizzard has been particularly active in their announcement of upcoming titles. As we have already reported, the gaming monolith announced the World of Warcraft expansion: Dragonflight , which introduces a new race / class combination, five new zones, a re-introduction (and update) to the original talent system and much more. But now, Blizzard has chosen to take up the fight with the mobile market; in the form of two different games, one of which ended up having major implications for Blizzard when it was first announced.

The game being alluded to is, of course, Diablo Immortal, which was originally announced as a complete Diablo game with Diablo 3-like graphics, scaled down to the screen resolution of mobile phones and graphical restrictions that come with these devices. The game's story takes place in the period between Diablo 2 and 3, and will send players on an adventure where they must collect the mighty Worldstone after Baal has managed to corrupt it and the stone has exploded into multiple fragments which are now scattered around in the nooks and crannies of Sanctuary.

Yesterday, Blizzard's second mobile game (and at the same time, the latest game) was announced: Warcraft Arclight Rumble, which gathers a bunch of iconic Warcraft individuals and monsters and lets you use them to fight your way through Azeroth. The game is similar to many other games on the market, and at the same time, Blizzard is not the first gaming company that wants to operate in several market platforms at the same time.

Other popular franchises are also turning their noses towards the mobile platform

As mentioned above, it's not only Blizzard who is interested in what the mobile market has to offer. Many other major gaming companies have also made claim to the mobile universe in mobile friendly versions of their popular games. For example, League of Legends' creators 'Riot Games' have made a mobile version of their original game, which follows the same principle but with mobile control features - and they've actually gotten away with it really well. The game is called League of Legends: Wild Rift and includes both an online store where players can buy champions, skins and more, as well as subscribe to a Battle Pass, which gives them more rewards the more they play (and they have to play - otherwise the subscription is wasted).

Epic Games has previously had games on the mobile market, for example one of the most popular and lucrative online games: Fortnite - Battle Royale, which can be played on every conceivable device. However, the game is no longer playable on Apple or Google devices, after a long series of legal disputes between the two tech giants and the gaming company, which led to the 'Free Fortnite' movement , which is still fighting for a more competitive market for consumers and developers both.

Larger and more visually impressive games have also found their way into the mobile market, including the popular Black Desert Online (or BDO) for both computer, playstation and mobile, as well as the game anime style game: Genshin Impact, which ended up being one of the most lucrative mobile games of 2021 .

Should players be optimistic or pessimistic with the sudden focus on the mobile market?

As is the case with all games that Activision Blizzard's been putting out lately, it would definitely be our recommendation that players do not set their expectations too high. Ultimately, over the last 10-15 years, Activision Blizzard has become a greedy money machine, constantly finding new ways to use players' existing nostalgia to grind money out on players' pre-existing affiliation with their franchise instead of focusing on creating new, amazing game experiences that fans will want to support and invest in.

Are the recently announced mobile games death knell of Activision Blizzard? No, probably not. Once could say that Activision Blizzard has put their foot in it so many times that a gacha game or a very greedy in-app store can't exactly surprise the players by now. Ultimately, it's about showing Blizzard what players really want - this is also where the term "vote with your wallet" comes into play.

If you are against cash shops and free mobile games, which are created on the principle of forcing you to pay for services or cosmetic changes to your characters, in the end, it's all about not supporting such projects at all. However, we think many fans of the franchise will have a hard time not at least wanting to try out Diablo Immortal and / or Warcraft Arclight Rumble, even if it's just to acknowledge that their worst fears are justified and then delete the app immediately and set out to write a rage-outburst on one of Blizzard's many forums.