Neither Overwatch 2 nor Diablo 4 have a release date at this point, and so it’s not possible for either of them to be delayed. For fans of the games who were hoping that they’d be out sometime this year, though, it is possible to be disappointed: Activision said during today’s quarterly financial call that neither game is expected to be out in 2021.
“We expect Blizzard’s net booking to grow, given the momentum in World of Warcraft and the other growth initiatives we have in the business,” Activision chief financial officer Dennis Durkin said during the call. “Our outlook does not include Diablo 4 or Overwatch 2 launching in 2021.”
The good news, at least for gamers who own mobile phones, is that Diablo Immortal is expected to arrive later in 2021. We also expect it to be decent: The mobile game took a lot of heat when it was announced at BlizzCon in 2018, but it “feels good enough that I suspect that anyone who gives it a try will see their old BlizzCon angsts atrophy away,” we said in a December 2020 preview.
Our insights into Diablo 4 are less well-formed at this point. There will be five playable classes, including the barbarian, sorceress, and druid, it has a big, broad skill tree and overhauled itemization, an online, shared world, and maybe most important of all, a much grimmer visual style than Diablo 3—”a return to the darker look of early Diablo, with even more blasphemy and profane imagery per capita.”
Overwatch 2 is also a little on the amorphous side of things: It’s a sequel to Overwatch but felt more like a major expansion when we played it in late 2019. It will focus on story-based PvE missions rather than the PvP of the original game, and will also give us at least one new character, Sojourn, who is Canadian and thus objectively the best of the bunch.
We will hopefully learn at least a little bit more about both games, and everything else that Blizzard is up to, later this month. BlizzConline, the all-digital version of BlizzCon that Blizzard has put together in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to run February 19-20, and will be free for everyone.
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