Rumor: Diablo III to receive cross-play functionality

Diablo III - cross-play crossplay

[Update] Earlier today, an article from Business Insider sparked the rumor that cross-play support might be coming to Diablo III. Comic Book has reported that this is, in fact, not the case – at least not at this stage.  In a statement made to Comic Book by a Blizzard rep, the status of cross-play was clarified.

While we love the idea bringing our players together across platforms, we do not have any plans to implement cross-platform gameplay for Diablo at this time,” a Blizzard rep commented. Of course, this comment doesn’t discount the idea for potential future implementation.  But for now, it’s not something on the horizon.

Original Story

According to one Blizzard Entertainment representative, the idea of cross-play functionality for Diablo III is “a question of when, not if.” This report comes by way of Business Insider Australia. While this news is unofficial, it comes on the heels of the game’s launch on the Nintendo Switch on Nov. 2. As Business Insider points out, the Switch version of Blizzard’s popular action RPG title is its seventh release. Diablo III is also available on the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Mac, and PC.

If the cross-play news is true, this could be an exciting development for Diablo III fans. The first implication is obvious. Fans will be able to play Diablo with friends on different platforms. The barriers between the various consoles, PC, and Mac are in the early stages of disintegration. Sony is the final player to buckle on the issue after blocking cross-play availability for the PS4 for over a year since the issue first gained steam with Minecraft and Rocket League. Fortnite will be the first title to receive cross-play functionality across all gaming platforms. And that means that the floodgates are now open, and we’re likely to see cross-play being implemented more frequently, especially with Sony on board.

What if?

However, there may be other implications to Blizzard’s potential cross-play feature for Diablo III. Again, this is only speculation based off of an unofficial statement on the matter. But, If the ability to transfer character progress across platforms via a Blizzard account exists, much in the same way that Fortnite accounts transcend platforms, then gamers who already own Diablo III could be more incentivized to purchase the title on the Nintendo Switch. For me, purchasing games such as Doom or Skyrim on the Nintendo Switch is more about having these games available for mobile play more so than simply purchasing the titles a second time for the sake of buying them on a different console. If progress could be accessed via an account, this could create or broaden the market for second-time buyers.

I, for one, and am excited for the chance to take Diablo III with me on the go.  We’ll all have that chance this coming November.  So, what do you make of all this? Are you excited about the prospect of Diablo III allowing cross-play functionality? If so, what games do you hope are affected next by the hot cross-play topic gripping the gaming industry? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Chris Hinton
Accountant by day, video games enthusiast by night.  Somewhere in between all of that, I'm a husband, dad, and generally a giant man-child, too.  If a game is all about action, there's a safe bet I'm playing it.  I started laying waste to virtual worlds as a youngin' on the ol' Atari and haven't stopped since.