“Beta has become a twisted word”: Blizzard responds to Diablo 4 early access feedback

March 21, 2023
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More than a million people crashed into the Diablo 4 early access beta over the weekend, myself included, and I hopped on a train to London yesterday to talk to Blizzard about how it went.

I spoke to Diablo general manager Rod Fergusson and Diablo 4 game director Joe Shely, and we managed to cover most of the hot topics from the weekend. We talked about the queues, which were a particular problem on the opening Friday; we talked about whether any of the classes will be rebalanced now; we talked about the surprise Butcher ambushes; we talked about couch co-op and why it’s not available on PC; and we talked about dungeons feeling laborious as we traipsed back and forth. And they had some eye-opening things to say about each topic.

The 6th June release of Diablo 4 is coming around quickly, and with only a fifth of the game-world on show here, there’s a lot left to polish. That’s amid concerns over incentivised crunch in order to get it done, and periodic staff walkouts as unionisation efforts seek to tackle unfair working conditions. And, of course, there’s the apparently never-ending Microsoft buyout saga looming large. Far from ideal working conditions.

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