Everything you need to know about Diablo 4
As expected, there's plenty of hype for Diablo 4, but rumours of a Blizzcon 2016 launch failed to materialise. Here's what we know so far about the Diablo 4 release date, news, rumours, and more.
(Update: 17 December 2017): Blizzcon 2016 is behind us and we're now into 2017, but news on Diablo 4 has been light. Most fans will be looking to Blizzcon 2017 for a surprise announcement, but the impending Diablo 3 remake is the only big news on the horizon for now. Read on for the latest news.
It’s been 20 years since the original Diablo game launched, so the opportunity is ripe for Blizzard to unveil the long-awaited Diablo 4. With Blizzcon 2016 underway, we expected some news on Diablo 4, but we were out of luck. Instead, Blizzard unveiled a remake of the original Diablo game, and a new class for Diablo 3 – the Necromancer.
We asked Gio Hunt, EVP of Corporate Operations at Blizzard, about the pre-Blizzcon hype for Diablo 4, and what sort of lifecycle he envisages for Diablo 3. Here's what he said:
"We are very happy with the Diablo 3 universe, and we continue to produce a lot of free content for it. And now soon, we'll have the Necromancer, a whole new character class being introduced, some time probably middle of 2017 – we don't have a specific date on that yet."
"And so we continue to have a very vibrant community around Diablo 3, and of course there's always talk about Diablo 4," Hunt continued, speaking exclusively to TrustedReviews. "We didn't announce anything today; we're not ready to announce anything about that. But we love the Diablo franchise as much as any of the other universes, and I'm sure at some point we'll see something like that."
In any case, there’s no shortage of rumours and leaks about Diablo 4. Here’s our guide to the game (if it even exists).
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Diablo 4 Release Date UK & US – When will Diablo IV come out?
Diablo 4 probably isn't coming any time soon, unfortunately. Here are previous Diablo releases, for context:
- Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls – March 25, 2014
- Diablo 3 – June 7, 2012
- Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction – June 27, 2001
- Diablo 2 – June 29, 2000
- Diablo: Hellfire – November 24, 1997
- Diablo – December 31, 1996
As you can see, Diablo games release very far apart, but expansions follow very quickly. The last expansion came out in 2014, while Diablo 3 launched in 2012. We’re three years on from Reaper of Souls, so logic dictates that we’d see something new shortly, right? Well, it turns out that Blizzard's big news for the moment is a remaking of the original Diablo, as well as introducing a new Necromancer class to Diablo 3.
There were rumours of a Diablo 4 launch for Blizzcon 2016, but they failed to materialise – that's not a huge surprise, honestly. Blizzard has always unveiled Diablo games in Europe: D2 in London, D3 in France, and D3: RoS in Germany – but Blizzcon is held in Anaheim, California.
Back in 2008, Jay Wilson, the lead designer for Diablo 3, spoke to MTV about the game, saying: “We’re looking out ahead of time at what our expansions are going to be.” Fans are still speculating about that early comment, and how expansion was pluralised.
Then in 2010, a Blizzard product roadmap was leaked online. It didn’t look as far forward as 2016, but the last entry is a second Diablo 3 expansion set for release in the fourth quarter of 2015. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but it suggests that Blizzard may have been open to releasing two expansions for Diablo 3 before unveiling a proper sequel.
Fast-forward to Blizzcon 2013, and we get another hint for a second Diablo 3 sequel. During a Q&A panel, Diablo 3 game director Josh Mosqueira (who left Blizzard last year) responded to a question about whether there would be a second expansion pack with “Maybe”:
Most depressingly, the best evidence of Diablo 4 coming at Blizzcon 2016 we had was what became known as the ‘Diablo 4 dice conspiracy’. You can read all about that below.
Cue Diablo 4 news at Blizzcon 2017?
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Diablo 4 Dice Conspiracy
If you’re even remotely keeping track of Diablo 4 news and rumours, you’ll have heard about the Blizzcon dice conspiracy. Some call it a coincidence, others call it a cunning tease, but all can agree that analysing it is the most pointless exercise of human endeavour since the X Factor – but I’m going to explain it anyway.
Inside the Blizzcon 2016 goodie bag, there’s a Diablo-themed small sack filled with dice – the kind you’d use for Dungeons & Dragons, with non-conventional numbers of sides. One of the die included has four sides, which isn’t particularly special. But the shorthand name for such a die is a ‘D4’ – *cue gasp*. Yes, some spectators believed this was a clue handed down from the merciful hand of Blizzard. But it doesn’t stop there.
What’s unique about the D4 die is that it’s printed wrong. On a standard D4, each side has three numbers, but you’ll get the same bottom row of numbers whichever way it lands – that’s your roll. But on Blizzard’s D4, there’s a misprint that makes it unusable, because only two of the sides match up. So when you rotate the D4, one side will read 1-1-4 rather than 1-1-1. And when you consider that 1-1-4 is the date of BlizzCon (November 4), it seemed an appropriate time to don your tin-foil hat and start getting hyped.
If you want an even more (unnecessarily) in-depth explanation, watch this video below:
Is this proof of a Blizzcon 2016 Diablo 4 launch? No, as it turned out. It's highly unlikely that Blizzard actually misprinted thousands of dice, so the tease was almost certainly intentional. But rather than being an absolute guarantee of an announcement, this seems to be simply a case of Blizzard trolling its fans.
Diablo 4 Storyline, characters, and gameplay
The finer details of Diablo 4 are in short supply, unfortunately. But we can still speculate.
The best information we have to go on right now comes from Blizzard’s human resources department. We’ve seen an influx of Blizzard job postings, including several that make reference to an “unannounced project” that’s set in the “Diablo universe”. Now that’s no guarantee of Diablo 4, and could easily reference a spin-off game, a HD remake, or an expansion pack – but it’s worth a mention nonetheless.
There was a rumour that Bill Roper, VP/GM at Disney Interactive Studios, was returning to Blizzard to work on Diablo 4. Roper previously worked as a producer on the first and second Diablo games, but has since confirmed that he isn’t coming back for Diablo 4:
Similarly, Blizzard North co-founder and lead Diablo programmer David Brevik also confirmed he wouldn’t be working on Diablo “in the near future”:
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Diablo 4 trailers
No Diablo 4 trailers have been released yet (obviously), but be sure to bookmark this page and check back. As soon as a trailer is released, we’ll stick it here for your viewing pleasure.
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What would you like to see from Diablo 4? Let us know in the comments.