Diablo Immortal will be the first Diablo game of its kind that's playable exclusively on mobile devices, but even with a touch-based interface designed specifically for that game, there will inevitably be those who want to play it with a controller instead. That's already been a common question presented to the game's developers since the game's announcement, and it's one that was addressed again recently during BlizzConline when Lead Game Producer Caleb Arseneaux said during a Diablo Immortal panel that the feature was being investigated to see if it'd be a smart fit for the game.
After the panel, ComicBook.com spoke to Arseneaux and Senior System Designer Kris Zierhut to learn more about the plans for Diablo Immortal. We asked Arseneaux if there was anything in particular Blizzard was concerned about that might indicate controller support wouldn't be a suitable feature for Diablo Immortal. Arseneaux said the game has been designed first with a touch screen layout in mind and that adding controller support to that formula may not be as straightforward a process as people might think.
"So, number one, our focus was to create world-class controls on the touch screen, which was hard enough and there was a lot of challenges getting to the state that we're at today, and we feel pretty good about it, but we're going to continue to iterate," Arseneaux said. "Adding controller support with our ability activation scheme that we've designed is not exactly straightforward. A few examples of that on the ability buttons themselves, there are virtual sticks to aim that ability and on face buttons on a controller that, you usually don't have that level of aiming capabilities. So, then you would typically, maybe you put them on the shoulder buttons, but not all controllers have that."
Expanding on that, Arseneaux said those sorts of considerations are questions, not necessarily blockers, so there's still a chance controller support could happen. However it's implemented should the idea come to fruition, Arseneaux said it the team has to ensure the implementation lives up to the Blizzard stamp of approval.
"So, those are just questions, but none of those are blockers, necessarily. And that's why I'm saying like, 'Hey, we're investigating it,' because we want the experience to be good if we support controller. right?" Arseneaux said. "Because if Blizzard puts its stamp on it, that means it has to hold up. It has to feel really good. And because it just hasn't been a focus of the team, that means that we're starting that now. So, we're starting an investigation there."
Blizzard Immortal is currently planned for a release on mobile devices but does not yet have a set release date.