Next to nobody showed up for a recent Diablo 4 event in Korea

At this point, it's become difficult if not impossible to deny that Diablo 4 is facing declining interest from its hardcore fanbase.

The book on Diablo 4 has yet to be written but it all feels like we've seen this before only that things have gotten worse way too fast.

For a long time, the narrative was that only the vocal minority had issues with Diablo 4. Many argued that the Diablo 4 team did a great with the game, but eventually, this changed. Now, Diablo 4's Twitch numbers reflect the lack of interest in the game. To make matters worse, no one is bothering to show up to its live events.

A little over three months after Diablo 4 raised pandemonium and set a new company record for most sales at launch, Diablo 4 is struggling to pull in viewers, both online and live.

Blizzard recently set the stage for an in-person competitive event in collaboration with the local esports channel TEN. However, the livestream presented an unanticipated spectacle: empty seats and a virtual audience that never exceeded 300 viewers. This sparse attendance didn't go unnoticed. One streamer, visibly taken aback by the vacant venue, was asked to halt his broadcast after commenting on the situation.

State of D4 Live Event in Korea
byu/jinjin5000 indiablo4

These visuals from the event resonated with many players' sentiments about the state of the game. In the eyes of many, this was the final nail in the coffin - Diablo 4 is as good as dead.

Mind you, this isn't just some random criticism. The root of the public disillusionment is three-pronged: lack of quality post-launch content, uninspiring game mechanics, and a lackluster loot system. 

Now, South Korea, a country known for its robust Blizzard fanbase and once hailed Diablo 4 with enthusiasm, evidenced by the overwhelmingly positive response, has arguably turned its back on the game. 

Diablo 4's narrative potential is the envy of a lot of developers, but Blizzard doesn't seem too keen on leveraging this.

A dungeon crawler's main draw is keeping players entertained by making them chase loot. Diablo 4 has none of that. As a franchise, Diablo thrives on a compelling loot system - it's the lifeblood that keeps players engrossed. But in Diablo 4, the thrill of obtaining a prized item seems absent. The drops are monotonous and lack excitement. The legendary items appear mundane, and the few uber uniques that do exist are so scarce they're deemed mythical.

Diablo 2 remains the gold standard for the series, as any hardcore fan will tell you. Its award-winning predecessor made every play session something to look forward to - each treasure opened, dungeon visited, and mob killed, brought the potential for a game-changing item drop.

Such nostalgia for Diablo 2 isn't without reason. It was a game that, in its heyday, was both groundbreaking and genre-defining. It provided players with a rich tapestry of items, zones, bosses, and more, creating an environment where all of your farming efforts was rewarding and exhilarating. It's not unusual for players to build characters in Diablo 2 just for the sake of experiencing different builds. The game's intrinsic value was in its detailed loot, itemization, and skills, which encouraged endless play without necessitating specific endgame modes.

Diablo 4's single-player campaign can still be expanded on but the only question is, can the game survive until then?

It certainly doesn't help that Blizzard obviously tried to make Diablo 4 feel more like Diablo 2 than Diablo 3. However, the result is obvious - Diablo 4, when compared to all its predecessors, feels uninspired. Its release, rather than setting a new standard, has left players longing for the past. The once-revered Blizzard is now facing even more skepticism about its capacity to deliver groundbreaking experiences.

What could be the reason for this shift in quality? Did Blizzard hire the wrong people to make Diablo 4? Was it wrong to bring on board more developers as opposed to hand-picking deeply experienced individuals with a love for the action RPG genre?

We don't need to look further than a video of one of Diablo 4's developers playing the game to know the answer to this question. 

As a single-player game, Diablo 4 was a success. But, it failed in everything else.

For a game like Diablo, with its rich history and ardent fanbase, this cold reception mid-way through its debut season is particularly striking. Comparisons with other games in the genre further illuminate Diablo 4's perceived shortcomings. A lot of its competition operate on a fraction of Blizzard's budget and yet have more depth.

The good news is that all is not lost for Diablo 4. With the release of Season Two slated for October 17, there's hope. It's a potential new lease in life for Diablo 4 to finally offer an engaging experience. But, if it fails, Activision Blizzard is, at the very least, capable of supporting for Diablo 4 until it can recover, no matter how long it takes. 

Besides, Diablo 4 still has plenty going for it. The cow level, Mephisto's potential return, and an expansion of the overall narrative are things that Blizzard got right. It's just that all the good that Diablo 4 did is muddied by its now-tarnished reputation - an unfortunate reality that is all Blizzard's doing.

It's ironic that fans are now looking to the three Prime Evils to save Diablo 4.

Only time will tell if the upcoming content can salvage its standing or if this once-beloved franchise will slowly fade into relative obscurity.

Related Topics


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ray Ampoloquio

Ray Ampoloquio // Articles: 5842

Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Comparison List (0)