There have been many questions raised about what Diablo 4 will eventually offer, support for cross-play functionality being one of them. The said feature would basically serve as a bridge between different platforms and allow players on PC, for example, to play with their friends on consoles at the same time.
Speaking with The Telegraph at BlizzCon 2019, executive producer Allen Adham confirmed that Blizzard definitely wants to see Diablo 4 support cross-play multiplayer. There are some technicalities involved that need to be ironed out first but the greater goal is to have the in-development sequel support cross-play on as many major platforms as possible.
We’re [Blizzard] very excited about cross-play. There are technical details and details to work through with the first parties, but it’s our goal to get to cross-play.
Diablo 4 is still a long way off. The only thing Blizzard has presently confirmed is that development is ongoing for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The developer has no need to rush a release at this point, meaning that what could possibly be more than a year of wait will end up paying off.
Safe to say, Diablo 4 is possibly going to support cross-play at launch. There may even be cross-generation functionality for next-generation consoles. That’s also something that Blizzard would be gunning for seeing how Diablo 3 ended up pretty much on every major platform, including the Nintendo Switch.
Traditionally, Blizzard has been stingy about allowing other companies to connect to the Blizzard servers. The notion has often been put forward as a prevention measure against hacks and cheats, as well as isolating platforms based on accessibility. Blizzard, for example, has been against matching players on PC against those on consoles since gameplay is a bit different on both. In addition, console versions sometimes have features that are not supported on PC, making cross-play between them difficult.
However, seeing Blizzard being so open about cross-play for Diablo 4 is pretty assuring. Hopefully, such assurance will not end up like Diablo 3, which was equally promised to have cross-play but the feature was then reportedly abandoned.
There’s a lot that remains unknown about Diablo 4. Outside of the cinematic trailer and gameplay footage, there’s not much to go on right now. Blizzard might even take months before opening the information floodgates. What little details have been scraped together can be browsed here.
Diablo 4 has no release date but there’s a strong speculation that the sequel won’t release before 2021.