Diablo 4 reached a massive milestone in success, passing $666 million in just a few days. Despite a recent spike in negative user reviews, Diablo 4 has been enormously profitable overall. However, some of Blizzard’s other franchises have been less fortunate. With the recent controversy surrounding the sales of Overwatch 2 and World of Warcraft: Dragonflight expansion failing to match previous releases, Diablo is currently the strongest Blizzard franchise. Diablo 4 is not a perfect game by any means. However, it can function as a benchmark on how Blizzard should handle its other franchises. To regain its players’ trust, Blizzard must continue this level of quality, not just with the Diablo series but with Overwatch and WoW.
For players that don’t know, Blizzard has come under fire recently for its decisions to cut content from Overwatch 2. Sadly, the company claimed it promised too many things and realized there wasn’t enough time to deliver on it. Likewise, World of Warcraft: Dragonflight was unable to surpass the sales of Shadowlands, despite being a decent expansion. As a result, many fans have lost faith in the company as a whole. However, despite this trend of failures and controversy, Diablo 4 has been a “win” for Blizzard Entertainment. Overall, things that contributed to this success are the longer period between mainline releases and the focus on creating an independent game rather than an expansion.
Diablo 4’s Success May Come From A Long Development
First, one of the main contributors to Diablo 4’s success is its long development period. It is reported that Diablo 4 took over 6 years to develop. This is a much longer period than either Overwatch 2, which was announced in 2021, or Dragonflight, which came out two years after the previous expansion. The fans’ patience for the release of Diablo 4 has paid off, as the dev team could prioritize creating high-quality content. Conversely, Overwatch 2 lacks content and has more than enough controversy. Additionally, WoW expansions have been coming out too fast for their own good. Although getting extra content is always good, sometimes waiting for higher-quality content is better.
The Return of the Diablo Series Generated Some Hype
On top of this, one thing that contributed to Diablo 4’s success is that it is an entirely new game, not a simple update to its predecessors. Both WoW and Overwatch 2, despite the latter’s title, are more along the lines of updates rather than full releases. While these expansions bring lots of new content, they hold less weight than a completely brand-new release. Diablo 3 was released in 2012, 11 years before Diablo 4’s release in 2023. While Diablo Immortal did release sometime in this period, Diablo 4 was the first mainline title in a long time. While it’s hard to replicate the same anticipation for the return of a series, pacing out releases may help stir up hype for Blizzard’s other games.
Diablo 4’s Recipe For Success May Not Apply To Other Games
However, due to the major differences between each of these games, it may be hard to replicate Diablo 4’s success. For example, WoW is an MMORPG, and although it functions similarly to Diablo, its structure is very different. Building a new game from the ground up is expected for the fast-paced, action RPG Diablo. WoW, on the other hand, is an expanding world that builds upon itself. Losing previous characters and progress would be much more detrimental to audience retention. The same holds for Overwatch as well, though to a lesser extent. Overwatch 2 did not have enough content to warrant a sequel and could have been an update. Overwatch 2 would have been better if it wasn’t marketed as a sequel, which added to its controversy. Additionally, adding enough content to warrant an official Overwatch 2 would almost be impossible.
In the end, there is no formula for success that works for every game. Diablo 4’s success, despite its flaws, came from hype and quality. Controlling the former of these factors is difficult, and the latter takes more time than Blizzard is willing to give. However, Diablo 4 should at least set a quality benchmark for all of Blizzard’s other franchises. Overwatch 2 and WoW are both in dire need of revitalization. Although fans still love these games, many are losing interest fast. Taking more time between expansions may be the perfect way to start creating higher-quality content. On the other side of the coin, some may lose interest if Blizzard takes too long to release them. Although there is no easy answer to these problems, Diablo 4 will at least serve as a solid example of what to do right.