Blizzard has just posted a job listing for a Dungeon Artist, confirming that a new Diablo project is in the works.
Not much information can be gleaned from the job listing, but here are the important parts:
“The minions of Hell are growing stronger… We’re working on a new, unannounced Diablo project… The ideal candidate works well in an environment of peers who are passionate about working on the dark gothic world of Diablo, making great games, killing millions of monsters and getting loot!”
While that’s not a lot of information to go off, we can sure as hell speculate as to what it might mean!
Firstly, given that it’s a ‘new’ Diablo project, we can rule out the rumoured Switch port that may or may not be happening.
What about that 2nd expansion to Diablo 3 that was always supposed to be coming? It’s been just over 6 years since Diablo 3 launched on PC to a pretty shaky reception, and a little over 4 years since its first (and currently only) expansion Reaper of Souls came out. Since then, Blizzard has consistently patched quality of life improvements and made significant changes to the game to turn its reputation around and keep it relevant: there were very successful ports to both the Xbox One and PS4, and a Necromancer character pack was released last year. Another expansion would have made a lot of sense a few years ago, but releasing one now, 6 years after the game initially launched, would be a fairly slow response even by Blizzard standards, and seems fairly unlikely.
The most obvious answer would of course be Diablo 4. And while I would love for it to be Diablo 4 – in the sense that it’d be another fairly self-contained single-player dungeon-crawling item-finding campaign experience – I sadly don’t think it’ll be the case. Look at Blizzard’s most recent offerings – World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm. They’re all multiplayer experiences, all ‘games as a service’ which generate huge money for the company. Whatever the next Diablo project might be, I think it’ll follow a similar model. “World of Sanctuary”, anyone?