Diablo Immortal is coming to PC, Blizzard announced early Monday morning. Alongside the announcement, the studio revealed a host of changes for the PC version, such as controller support, UI scaling, and cross-progression. But it also revealed why the PC edition of Diablo Immortal exists: to combat emulation.
In a blog post, Blizzard speaks a bit about going back and forth on wanting Diablo Immortal on PC at all. “On one hand, we felt that we wouldn’t be doing the title justice by releasing a game originally designed for mobile on PC,” Blizzard said, “on the other hand, we wanted to make sure the game reached as many players as possible—especially our most dedicated PC fans.” But, Blizzard explained, “the deciding factor was that we knew many of you would attempt to play this game through an emulator, thus leading us towards building a better experience.”
Not only should this lead to a more curated experience — with UI and controls specifically tailored for PC — but players won’t need to circumvent the studio just to get their pre-Diablo 4 fix. It’s a Blizzard that clearly learned from the fan-made “Classic” World of Warcraft servers of many years ago, which led it to create World of Warcraft: Classic internally.
Blizzard’s candid answer about emulation is a far cry from the oft-memed “Do you guys not have phones?” from Immortal’s 2018 reveal. And with the studio’s extended apology at the start of its reveal stream for World of Warcraft: Dragonflight last week, we’re trending toward a more open Blizzard than we’ve seen in some time.
Until players get their hands on Diablo Immortal (especially the new PC beta), it’s impossible to say how Diablo’s latest title will land with hardcore fans. But if 2018’s Diablo Immortal BlizzCon announcement was the height of Blizzard hubris, Monday’s announcement may give players faith that — at least in terms of game development — that Blizzard is listening again.