Diablo 4 developers are open to collaborations from other franchises "if it’s something that feels right”
Directors of Diablo 4 have expressed that they are “interested in collaborating [with other franchises] if it’s something that feels right.” That’s according to Joe Shely, the Game Director of Diablo 4, who responded to a question about collaborations in a group interview at BlizzCon 2023.
The game has already seen one crossover with another Activision property so far, namely last year’s release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. There, we saw the characters of Lilith and Inarius appear in the blockbuster shooter as Operator bundles, letting players rip and tear their way through opponents - this time with assault rifles.
However, outside of a subtle nod to World of Warcraft with a few premium cosmetics, we’re yet to see any other series make the trip the opposite way and feature directly in the world of Sanctuary. While Shely and Brent Gibson, the Associate Game Director of Diablo 4, explain that there are currently no plans they can share regarding collaborations, it’s not something that fans should completely rule out.
“We are interested in collaborating when it’s something that feels right,” Shely tells the room at BlizzCon 2023. Gibson expands, saying, “We’re very careful in making sure that it feels right. The team is passionate about keeping its dark tone, making sure things stay appropriate, and avoiding what we call ‘french fry swords’.”
As such, it’s clear that the team working on Diablo 4 is actively thinking about collaborations it can bring to the game - it’s just a question of what and when.
The collaborations we want to see in Diablo 4
Taking the remarks of Shely and Gibson into account, we can rule out anything too over-the-top or gaudy appearing in Diablo 4 any time soon. With the game featuring a very specific dark and demonic tone, there are actually very few games that feel as though they would match the vibe of Sanctuary.
Off the top of our heads, we can see a Lord of the Rings collaboration working, especially if you consider the Battle of the Black Gate in Return of the King. There, the battle invokes very similar themes as our heroes fight against the dark forces of Sauron, tackling huge beasts alongside a fair few orc lackeys.
Fans may be expecting to see a few crossovers from Xbox properties given the recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard. At a push, the DOOM games from Bethesda also have plenty of demonic themes to dish out, although it’s likely a touch too sci-fi for Blizzard to consider here.
When asked about the acquisition, Shely said “Microsoft is very committed to Diablo 4. We see a bright future there.” During his brief appearance at the BlizzCon opening ceremony, Phil Spencer told of how he’s personally a huge fan of Diablo 4, on which Gibson commented, “That doesn’t hurt.”