When you say “Red Shirt Guy”, millions of gamers instantly know who you’re talking about. While there is in fact somehow of them Red Shirt Guys in Blizzard history, Ian Bates from 2010 who asked a viral question about dwarf leadership, nowadays more people know about the modern era Red Shirt Guy, the one who stood up at Blizzcon 2018 after Diablo Immortal was revealed to ask “Is this an April Fool’s Day out of season?”
I have… mixed feelings about Red Shirt Guy. While I agree that launching a Diablo mobile game when everyone was expecting Diablo 4 at the time was not a good idea, I thought that was a pretty crude way to press the problem. Even now, when Red Shirt Guy is celebrated as the hero who saw it all come, I still think that was rude back then. But yes, he was certainly right to be skeptical, everyone was.
Well, four years later, Red Shirt Guy has finally gotten his hands on Diablo Immortal, the game he made infamous. What does he think? He took to Twitter briefly discuss his feelings. In fact, things started quite well:
Like most people, he found the early levels of the game to fly, and it’s actually a solid adaptation of the Diablo control scheme for mobile. These early hours are like Diablo 3.5 in many ways. But the further you go, the more XP starts to be timed to encourage daily play and “commitment”, and the more you’ll start running dungeons that will net you relatively little compared to what $25 a pop might have given you. buy from the Crest store.
In the end, Red Shirt Guy was not a convert:
This second tweet was 13 days after his initial “things are good” tweet, meaning he quit in less than two weeks. It basically reflected my own experience. Although I had fun at first, once I realized how pointless the end game would be without paying huge sums of money, I quit and uninstalled. However, Diablo Immortal has already made tens of millions of dollars in revenue, which shows that some people were willing to pay, and Blizzard actually had no response to any of the fan rejections, and didn’t change anything. For them, it seems to work as expected.
The big question mark for Diablo fans now remains Diablo 4, which promises to be a more traditional Diablo experience without paid loot boxes, but we’ll have to see. For now, we can say yes, Red Shirt Guy was right about Diablo Immortal. But is it important?
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