A tweet from Diablo general manager Rod Fergusson drove fans into a speculative froth recently. Posting on May 31, one day in advance of Diablo 4's early access launch, Fergusson seemed to coyly suggest that Blizzard had one more big trick up its sleeve. "Are we still teasing that #DiabloIV thing tomorrow night?" Fergusson tweeted at Diablo marketing director Daniela Rodriguez, "People are going to be really surprised".
Well isn't that exciting? The rumour-mill immediately sped up. Obviously, Fergusson was going to announce the sudden addition of Diablo's paladin class for the fourth game's launch. Or no, wait, he was going to announce that the game would get its full release a few days early. Or maybe he'd just announce some kind of glittering cosmetic we could form another weird social hierarchy over? Players waited in anticipation.
You can imagine their disappointment when it turned out Fergusson was teasing a… hot, Diablo-themed collaboration between the musicians Halsey and Suga (of BTS fame).
Finally @BaconFaded it's out there! I can't wait to hear/see the full thing on June 5th! https://t.co/5KItinwJdnJune 1, 2023
Suga and Halsey will be working on a new version of Halsey's song "Lilith," which you might remember her performing at last year's Game Awards. This one will be made "for Diablo 4" and releases on June 5. You can see a snippet of it in the tweet above, featuring Halsey doing some top-tier Scottish Widows cosplay.
That's all very exciting, and I'm led to understand that the kids these days are absolutely feral about that K-Pop, but it's not quite what the pre-existing Diablo 4 community was getting its hopes up for. When Fergusson finally delivered the teased announcement, players released their bated breath as a long, heavy sigh. Over on Reddit, the reaction to the news was summed up by one top-voted and awarded post by user Sophie_MacGovern, "Someone take away his social media access". Another, from Parigod, simply said "Consider me whelmed".
To be fair to poor old Rod, it's not really his fault that players worked themselves up into a froth about an incredibly vague and low-energy tease on Twitter, but it also didn't take a prophet to see this reaction coming. Fans are descending on Diablo news like piranhas during the fourth game's release week, and what they want is announcements about the game itself, not about its many increasingly elaborate marketing stunts.
I suspect Blizzard got what it wanted with the announcement anyway. There are definitely lots of people with Korean in their names and pretty pop star profile pictures getting excited in the Twitter replies to the Halsey/Suga music video tease, and hey, good for them. But the teases could probably have set expectations a bit better for the poor 30+ year olds haunting Diablo subreddits.
Diablo 4 will launch in full next week, on June 5 in the Americas and June 6 everywhere else. Blizzard probably won't announce paladins between now and then.