Diablo 4 Already Has Two Expansions In The Works
Expect the live-service element of Diablo 4 to continue well into the future.
Diablo IV may have just arrived, but Diablo franchise general manager Rod Fergusson has confirmed that two expansions for Blizzard's latest ARPG are already underway.
In an interview with Kinda Funny Games, Fergusson casually mentioned that the game has two expansions in the works while discussing how to avoid developer burnout and create future content sustainably, while still sticking to Diablo IV's quarterly season plans.
"So you have to build your team and your structure around a way you can do that sustainably, because you're kind of always shipping in a way," Fergusson said. "In fact that's something we talk about. We have to build things in parallel. Right now, as I sit here, we're about to launch the main game, we're finishing up season one, we're working on season two, we're working on expansion one, we're kicking off expansion two. All that's happening right now and we haven't even launched the game yet."
Blizzard had previously stated that the goal for Diablo IV was for it to receive story expansions that will push the game's core narrative forward, but this is the first news that there are already multiple expansions in the oven. Assuming both of those expansions are officially released in the years to come, Diablo IV will be the first game in the series to receive more than a single expansion. Diablo II only received one expansion, Lord of Destruction. Diablo III also only received one expansion, Reaper of Souls, but did eventually receive class DLC in the form of the Necromancer.
When it comes to Diablo IV's seasons, Fergusson said much of the team's learning comes from Diablo III, although Diablo IV's will be "deeper and richer." Each season will have a narrative questline that brings players through the new features and mechanics of the season, with cosmetics and the game's battle pass all focusing on that season's core theme.
Fergusson also addressed criticism found in certain reviews that Diablo IV perhaps played it too "safe" in its design. To Fergusson, Diablo IV needed to "pay homage to the past" and strike a balance between what fans expect from the series and new innovations, like its more open-world structure. When asked if there were any "risky" ideas that were left on the cutting room floor for Diablo IV, Fergusson said that ideas that didn't make it into the game at launch, such as runewords, could always return down the line in the form of a season mechanic or as part of an expansion.
Diablo IV is currently live for those who purchased the Deluxe or Ultimate edition of the game, and will go live for standard edition buyers June 6 or June 5 in some regions. Despite only launching in early access on June 2, Blizzard has wasted no time delivering Diablo IV patches and hotfixes, with the developer recently increasing the damage of enemies on higher world tiers and curtailing the damage and survivability of some of the game's most powerful and popular builds.
In GameSpot's 8/10 Diablo IV review, we called Blizzard's latest "a game which confidently delivers gameplay that has been carried forward and refined from both Diablo II and III, while also establishing a strong foundation for the franchise's future."