Diablo Immortal, what does it mean for the future of Mobile Esports?
Diablo Immortal was announced this month at BlizzCon. This is an entirely new, mobile-exclusive extension of the popular PC action role-playing franchise from Activision Blizzard and NetEase Games (mobile developer).
Esports is already a massive part of Blizzard’s focus today, as seen with the Overwatch League, and Diablo is its crucial only franchise that doesn’t have some form of esports scene. BlizzCon now serves as a massive celebration of Blizzard’s esports accomplishments and goals.
Blizzard has esports scenes in the following titles; StarCraft, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and World of Warcraft. It has been confirmed that Blizzard Activision plan to push these titles and their fanbase towards the mobile esports market.
These are five very different games that all have unique esports scenes; however, there is one consistent trend amongst them all; Blizzard runs the show. Blizzard runs its esports endeavours and doesn’t allow them to be left in the hands of external partners of community-led organisations. A fantastic example of this is again, the Overwatch League, Blizzard created its unique approach for how they believe a competitive format should run within the Esports scene.
One of the most exciting areas amongst of all this is the partnership that Blizzard holds with Tencent. Tencent has already secured a stronghold within mobile esports. This is mainly due to the significant success that they seen with the title, Honor of Kings, that was released in China. Tencent also runs one of the biggest esports leagues in the world, that is fitted with franchised teams, large sponsors and even transfer fees for players.
With the likes of Fortnite and PlayersUnknown Battlegrounds making the transition into Mobile Gaming and Esports, it will be interesting to see how the Tencent partnership develops and if Blizzard will step into the market with a mobile version of Starcraft or Overwatch.