While Blizzard has seemingly yet to pinpoint major gameplay features, Activision promises that Diablo 4 will have content for "multiple years."
In a recent earnings call, Activision-Blizzard president Daniel Alegre says the company is investing big in Diablo 4's post-launch roadmap. Blizzard meanwhile is still experimenting with various in-game features. In short, the game isn't finished yet and the developers are looking to the future, which is par for the course for any live game.
"Blizzard continues to make strong progress on Diablo IV," Activision-Blizzard president Daniel Alegre said in a Q2'21 earnings call. "The game is shaping up incredibly well, and the team is allocating substantial resources to creating exciting content to drive engagement over multiple years."
Like all Blizzard games, Diablo 4 is being developed with live services in mind. The game's release is important, but what's arguably more important is how the game evolves post-release. That means lots of live updates, quests, missions, and various activities with rewards to keep players invested and playing over longer periods. It also means big expansions, too.
On paper, Diablo 4 is perfect fit for the publisher's monetization-driven model. The game meets all the major criteria; It's set in a popular franchise, it's being built with consoles and PC at the same time, it'll have cross-play for maximum engagement, it's powered by online servers that're secured via Battle.net 2.0 technology, and last but not least, it's a never-ending loot grind-fest.
Blizzard has already confirmed Diablo 4 will have cosmetic microtransactions, and in June, we got our first look at what in-game purchases will be like.
Diablo 4's new character customization system is prime territory for mTX. There's a character creator straight out of a major Bethesda RPG, complete with a ton of different appearance options.
"Diablo IV offers players more customization options than ever in a Diablo game. Your Barbarian is different from anyone else's but still feels undeniably like a Barbarian," ex-Diablo IV director Luis Barriga said in the update (Barriga has since left Blizzard).
Diablo IV now has a new Wardrobe system that will let players customize their class' appearance. Here gamers can "mix and match hundreds of armor components unique to your class, alongside custom color palettes."
It'll be interesting to see how this cosmetic system helps fuel post-launch content, and what ideas that Blizzard chooses to implement after D4's release.
Diablo 4 won't be ready for a while, but for now we have Diablo 2 Resurrected next month in September, and Diablo Immortal in 2022.
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