GeekNights Tuesday - Roll and Writes


Touche. I haven’t.


They paid and traveled with expectations that were created on their own. As far as I am aware there were no guarantees or promises from Blizzard that they did not fulfill. Blizzard is not at fault for anything and has done no wrong. Entitled jerks are just upset because they didn’t get what they wanted. Cry me a river. Nothing is new in the world.


I don’t think these were expectations created in their heads from nothing. Blizzard had been teasing Diablo stuff for a while and Blizzcon is historically where big stuff gets announced. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for people to have expected a big deal announcement or for them to be mad that it was something as shitty as a crappo mobage made by a crappo mobage company. Was the reaction over the top? Of course, way over the top but the backlash was going to happen regardless because what Blizzard fucked up spectacularly from a PR standpoint.


The mobile game is going to make them a fuckton of money. A few loud nerds will remain upset with no consequences for Blizzard whatsoever. What mistake did they make exactly?



Imagine if you paid hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to go to a Led Zeppelin concert. While Led Zeppelin hasn’t explicitly guaranteed that they’re going to come back for an encore and play Stairway to Heaven, all their hardcore fans are expecting that.

Instead, after the band walks offstage, they come back on and announce that they won’t be playing Stairway, but that Justin Bieber will be performing Stairway to Heaven instead.

That’s basically what happened at BlizzCon. The fans expected Stairway to Heaven (a PC Diablo announcment), and instead, they got a shovelware version of the song they love performed by an entirely different musician (a mobile Diablo game made by a shovelware Chinese developer).

I’d probably be a little pissed at the band as well.


You mentioned it offhand at the top

If you find and bring Die Macher to PAX I will play. It’s been many years.


They fucked up spectacularly by turning what would have been a ‘wtf guys’ gaff that passed by the next day into a PR shitstorm. They went so super hard hyping the announcement that when they revealed something nobody attending or watching that event remotely wanted the backlash was amplified. To steal an analogy from another podcast, it’s like if Led Zeppelin got back together and you paid a shitzillion dollars for a front row ticket and then the curtain rises and Jimmy Page comes out and plays Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on a kazoo.


Oh hey you listen to the BestFriendcast too lol.


Actually, I don’t.

That was just some amazing coincidence and argumentative synergy going on.


First of all, if you pay for a Zeppelin concert and you get a bonus Beiber concert at the end, that’s just free bonus stuff! You got the concert you paid for.

If you pay for a Zeppelin concert and Jimmy Page plays Twinkle Twinkle on a kazoo, that is legendary. That’s like owning a Nintendo Virtual Boy. It sucks, but you own a Virtual Boy! You can always say you were there in person at “the kazoo show.”


These analogies are absurd. Blizzcon happens every year, people go every year, and it sells out every year. Why on earth are the attendees of Blizzcon entitled to a video game announcement? I don’t buy outrage around being “duped” by a press conference at an already-popular fan convention for one second.


And again, there is no value to attending a product announcement/advertisement/press conference in person. It is incomparable to a live musical performance. Unless the Blizzard staff are going to rap the announcement, a la Ben Brode, then you may have something there. But in that case you would only have right to complain if the rap sucked, not if the rap was announcing the wrong game.


Because there hasn’t been a new Diablo game since 2012 or 2013 and there was no Diablo announcement at last year’s Blizzcon, and leading up to this year’s convention, Blizzard teased an announcement.

They created their own hype echo chamber.


They hyped a Diablo game. A Diablo game is coming, as promised. It’s not the one the most hardcore of fans wanted? Tough shit. The game will make a zillion dollars and have a ton of players.

It has always been the position of GeekNights that game companies, and media companies in general, should almost never (probably just never) listen to their hardcore fans. Tribes 2 did everything the fans wanted and died right away. Counter-Strike never listened, and is still relevant today.

If a game company is making their most hardcore fans angry, they are probably on the right track.


BlizzCon 2018 is almost here and we’ve seen a lot of rumors flying around about our plans for Diablo at the show. These are very exciting times—we currently have multiple teams working on different Diablo projects and we can’t wait to tell you all about them . . . when the time is right.

We know what many of you are hoping for and we can only say that “good things come to those who wait,” but evil things often take longer. We appreciate your patience as our teams work tirelessly to create nightmarish experiences worthy of the Lord of Terror.

While we won’t be ready to announce all of our projects, we do intend to share some Diablo-related news with you at the show.

If you read that, understood it, and were disappointed by what was announced, I don’t know what to tell you. People heard what they wanted to hear.

There might be a hype echo chamber, but it didn’t come from inside the building.


To you and me, yes of course because I don’t give a flying fuck about Diablo. But people DO care about this stuff, it’s their favorite thing, so I get WHY people were mad. I imagine if I went to XIV Fanfest and they had been saying for months there’s a big expansion in development and there’s gonna be a big announcement at Fanfest and they’re hyping it and I’m hanging out with my Free Company buddies and getting excited and they’re hyping and hyping between talking about other stuff and they’re building up to the last big reveal aaaaand… its an announcement about a mobage. You bet your ass I’d be mad. Not that Fanfest was ruined, cos there’s plenty else to do, or that I now hate Square Enix forever but I’d be pissed I was hyped up and led on for it to be that.


As I already linked previously:

"However, two people familiar with Blizzard’s plans confirmed that the company had indeed recorded a video in which co-founder Allen Adham spoke to fans about a new Diablo project… "

Blizzard was sending some seriously mixed messages to their fanbase regarding Diablo. Fans might not have been expecting Diablo 4, but a lot of people were expecting a Diablo 2 remake (Hey, they just announced a Warcraft 3 remake), or at least another expansion or new class for Diablo 3.


I also understand why they are mad. I also understand why the indignant senior citizen at the grocery store is mad that they won’t take their expired coupon. But fuck 'em both.


These analogies are perfect because to fans of things Blizzard is their Zeppelin and Diablo is Stairway to Heaven. People like you and Scott baffle me. Do you have passion about -anything-?


I have lots of passion. I just don’t discuss it because it is pointless. People like what they like.

I am able to completely separate my personal taste from objective analysis of things. That is what is worth discussing, so that’s what I talk about. Why does anyone else care what I personally like or don’t like?