Go ahead that this article is nothing more than the opinion of who writes these lines. There is no official confirmation whatsoever, neither from Microsoft nor from Activision-Blizzard, nor from Phil Spencer or any member of the Diablo IV development team. But based on some previous details and precedents that I will be telling you throughout this opinion piece, I am going to break down because I think that Diablo IV will be the first great exclusive title of the recent acquisition of Xbox.
In case you’ve been in a bunker the last week or have lived in isolation for the last few days, I remind you that Microsoft announced the purchase of Activision-Blizzard, which includes all its studios and IP’s, such as Overwatch or Call of Duty. With this, once the acquisition is completed in fiscal year 2023 (between July 2022 and June 2023), the games will become exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem (remember: Xbox Series X | S, PC and xCloud). And the first of them could be Diablo IV.
Exclusive Diablo IV: theory, certainty and precedents
But, on what basis do I make this statement or have this idea? Well, it can seem daring or risky, especially when only a week has passed since the purchase. But let’s think about the Starfield case. A title announced long before the purchase of Bethesda and never announced launch platforms. One of the biggest showcases of the company and that in the end will be exclusive to Xbox. Something that was made very clear at E3 2021, where the developer’s new title opened the show by showing us a new trailer and its release date.
Furthermore, Starfield is also a significant game, as it is the first new game from Bethesda in 25 years. Understanding a new game as a new IP, because titles, as such, have given us a few (and very large ones, although they are now despised).
And what does Diablo IV have to do with Starfield, you may be wondering. And I will tell you that a lot. At least when it comes to the development situation and status of the project, since the title has been announced since 2019, at Blizzcon that year. And, surprise, it was not said at any time in which platforms it will land, something that did happen with Overwatch 2, revealed at that same event and that I do confirm that it will be available on Xbox One, PS4, PC and Switch and, we intuit, on Xbox Series X|S and PS5.
The less curious that after three years and several more trailers (class presentation all of them) and various news and quarterly updates (as we can see on its official website), we still do not know where we can play Diablo IV. Obviously, we intuit that on PC, where the series has the largest player base. But what about consoles? Diablo III and Diablo II Resurrected have versions on Xbox and PlayStation, where they have been quite popular, and it would be strange if they did not reach that type of hardware.
And this is where the Starfield case comes into the picture, which had the same base and wickers and will finally only land in the Xbox ecosystem (remember, it includes PC). In this way, and although the comparisons are hateful, we can be facing the same situation and that, indeed, Diablo IV is the first great Activision-Blizzard exclusive on Xbox.
Be that as it may, I remember that this is nothing more than the personal opinion of the person who signs these lines. A series of cabals based on the data we have and on a clear precedent, but it does not mean that it is so. The same Blizzard announces in a few weeks or months that Diablo IV arrives at the end of the year with a multiplatform and intergenerational release. Or the same Diablo IV opens Microsoft’s E3 2022 conference and is announced as a new Xbox exclusive for 2023.
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