Diablo MMO does not fit into the plans of Blizzard
"We've learned to love the smaller, more focused party experience of four people," Blizzard says.
If you were holding out for a Diablo massively multiplayer online game, we have some bad news for you. It's not happening, according to Diablo lead content designer Kevin Martens. Speaking with Kotaku at Blizzcon 2014, Martens admitted that Blizzard Entertainment was at one time enthusiastic about a Diablo MMO, though the developer has since fallen out of love with that idea.
"There's no discussion about a Diablo MMO anymore," Martens said. "It was a really interesting idea back when we were into it, but I think Diablo has a really strong fantasy on its own. Having a thousand people playing it with you on a server doesn't dramatically increase it. We've learned to love the smaller, more focused party experience of four people. And some people are like, 'Why don't you do five?' I mean, we could, but kinda built the game around four people in mind. So the temptation of expanding the social circle has fallen by the wayside as we learned more about what we enjoy about Diablo."
If not an MMO, then what does the future of Diablo hold? According to Martens, games like Destiny, and others, show that there are still many opportunities for developers to explore with regards to how they can innovate on well-established gameplay formulas.
"I think people tend to take different components of the classic Diablo formula and combine them in new ways, as do we," he said. "Like, what Destiny's trying to do with loot and replayability and a futuristic setting in a shooter environment. That's a really interesting way to do it. Going bigger is certainly one way to go, but there's also games like Rogue Legacy, which emphasizes the randomness."
"Even if we stay in the realm of action-RPGs with randomization, there's no shortage of things you can do with that. The future is bright," he added. "And I think not every game has to be like Diablo. After Diablo II there was a period where a bunch of games were a lot like it, but then people decided to try different things. And Diablo III came out of that environment in that it's both very similar and very different."