Blizzard Begins to Work on Two Expansions for Diablo IV
In a recent interview on the Kinda Funny podcast, producer Rod Ferguson revealed that the developers of Diablo IV are preparing at least two expansions for the game. He emphasized that the release of Diablo IV is just the starting point, as Blizzard has already planned for additional content and ongoing development. Currently, multiple teams at Blizzard are working on different seasons and major expansions for the game.
Flexible Development Process
Ferguson highlighted that the development process was designed to allow the team to adapt and make adjustments on the fly. As an example, he mentioned hotfixes related to balancing issues that were implemented during the last open testing phase. Building a team and its structure in a way that enables constant adaptation is crucial, considering the continuous release of new content and the need to work on multiple aspects simultaneously.
Ongoing Development Efforts
Even as Ferguson spoke during the interview, the team was close to launching the main game, finishing the first season, developing the second season, and working on the first and second expansions. It is essential for the team members to collaborate in parallel, as creating a season takes more time than completing it. Waiting for one season to end before starting the next is not feasible.
Seasons and DLC
Ferguson mentioned that the developers plan to release seasonal patches approximately every quarter, following a similar pattern as Diablo III. However, the content in these patches will be significantly more substantial compared to the previous game in the series. While he did not reveal specific details about what players can expect from the seasons and DLC, Ferguson mentioned that the team often considers adding mechanics to seasons or expansions if they were cut from the main game.
An Example of Adaptation
One notable example he mentioned was rune words. It was an important feature in Diablo II, and initially, the team discussed whether they could include it in Diablo IV at launch. However, they gradually realized that they wouldn’t be able to finish it properly by the designated time. They decided to remove it, with the intention of incorporating the mechanic as part of a season or expansion in the future.
When the team has to remove a certain aspect of the game, they do not permanently discard it. Instead, they discuss the possibility of postponing it. Ferguson emphasized that if they have to let go of certain features, they usually consider integrating them later on.
With the revelation of two expansions in the works for Diablo IV, Blizzard demonstrates its commitment to continually enhancing the game beyond its initial release. The flexible development process allows for adjustments and improvements along the way, ensuring a dynamic and evolving gameplay experience. As the game’s full release approaches, players can anticipate regular seasonal updates and content-rich expansions, building upon the foundation of Diablo IV and offering exciting new adventures in the world of Sanctuary.