Why is DI so drastically different from D4?

So I just want to say right out that I'm excited for Diablo Immortal. Although initially disappointed, I decided early on not to judge it as a game until I get to actually play it, and a lot of the early tester feedback has been very positive, and it actually looks like a lot of fun. I enjoyed D3 a lot, but I did not like the vibe, tone, and art as a "Diablo" title. But to be honest, a good solid Diablo game on mobile sounds great on paper so long as it's not hampered by microtransaction bullshit, etc.

Anyway the one thing that I find strange is how Blizzard publicly acknowledged that they had made a mistake with the direction they went in Diablo 3 in terms of tone, art style, and some of the gameplay choices they made, which was nice to hear as a long time diablo fan because I remember the original team originally went the opposite way and berated and teased the community every chance they got when there was outcry about these issues.

Looking at Diablo Immortal, it seems like they're pushing hard into the direction of doubling down on Diablo 3, basically making a Diablo 3.5. They appear to have improved a little upon a lot of the weaker aspects of Diablo 3's art style and story elements, but I find it really odd how drastically different it is from the strong new direction that Diablo 4 is taking. It's making me wonder where Diablo is headed as a Franchise, and if they even know..

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It's like.. (and I acknowledge this is a subjective opinion so feel free to disagree) I feel like Diablo 4's new art made me feel like "finally we're getting back to the core of what Diablo is and always was". But then they have this other team in the same company pushing hard in the other direction in the same IP. If Diablo Immortal ends up being a huge success, then it make me feel like Diablo as a Franchise is kind of fractured and split two ways… It's like, DI is supposed to be a prequel in the same universe but as a fan I can't mentally connect the storyline of DI to D4 in any meaningful way because they look and feel like completely different franchises. You have the lofty, colourful, casual, epic fantasy world of Immortal clashing with the story and feel of the darker, grittier, more pc-centric Diablo 4.

I kind of wish their teams had collaborated a bit more and went one way or the other.. I also feel like Diablo 3 was a fantastic game in it's own right, but didn't need to be a "Diablo" game. If they had launched it as a new ARPG IP alongside Diablo I would have been less bothered by the slightly more Warcraftian "epic fantasy" direction they went.

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Just some thoughts and rants.. feel free to discuss if you want.


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