Among the most elusive titles in the gaming industry is the latest rumored installment from Blizzard’s iconic dungeon crawler, Diablo 4. Being in the rumor mill for years, the upcoming game has remained extremely well-hidden, with practically no official information being released or leaked to date. While signs that the game is currently in its early stages of development are numerous, Blizzard has proven to be extremely secretive about Diablo 4‘s development.
The last few months have been very eventful for the Diablo franchise and its legion of fans. In the months leading up to Blizzcon 2016 back in November, rumors were high that D4 would most likely be announced at the Anaheim, California, event. Despite numerous rumors and alleged leaks pertaining to a November reveal for the upcoming game, Diablo 4 ultimately proved to be a no-show at Blizzcon 2016.
While disappointing, the dungeon crawler’s absence in the event was actually not surprising at all considering that notable titles in the franchise have traditionally been revealed in Europe, not in the United States. Notably, Diablo 2 was officially revealed in London, Diablo 3 in France, and Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls in Germany. Despite Diablo 4’s lack of information on its development status, however, this does not mean the game would not be released in the coming years.
In a statement to Trusted Reviews, Blizzard Executive Vice President of Corporate Operations Gio Hunt explained the reason behind Diablo 4’s absence at Blizzcon 2016. The Blizzard EVP asserted that the Diablo 3 universe remains very healthy to this day and that any announcements pertaining to the next big title in the long-running dark fantasy franchise are not ready yet. Hunt, however, assured fans of the franchise that Diablo 4 would not be neglected.
“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, sometime 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. 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.”
One thing that could be a clue to the projected release schedule for the game might be found in an alleged Blizzard product roadmap that was leaked online. Although some of the dates in the leaked roadmap have already been proven false (it projected a Diablo 3 Expansion for Q4 2015), it nonetheless provided a reference to the game’s release order. The leaked product roadmap stated that two Diablo 3 expansion packs would be released first before a proper sequel will be announced, according to Digital Spy.
Considering that Diablo 3 is already getting a new character class sometime next year, it is then highly possible that another expansion pack is already on the way. With the leaked Blizzard product roadmap in mind, there is a good chance that the next game in the franchise would finally be the extremely elusive Diablo 4. While this could not really be confirmed, Blizzard’s latest job openings appear to be providing hints that further development in the Diablo franchise is already underway.
Recently, Blizzard’s human resource department posted a number of job postings on its website. What was particularly interesting about the job postings was the fact that they referenced an “unannounced project” that is set in the Diablo universe. Of course, these job openings could simply be for the announced remake of the original Diablo game or the second D3 expansion pack. However, it is just as likely that the postings were for the initial development of the highly anticipated Diablo 4.
If this is indeed, the case, the world of dungeon crawlers is bound to be shaken once more. After all, it is the original Diablo game, released 20 years ago, that practically made the genre into the juggernaut that it is today. For now, at least, news and the release date of Diablo 4 would continue to exist in the rumor mill until such time that Blizzard opts to provide an official announcement about the upcoming, highly anticipated game.