Will Diablo 3 have a Season 29?
Seasonal play in Diablo 3 has been a real highlight of the game, and has ignited or reignited interest in players for years now, myself included. Whether it’s as simple as more Treasure Goblins equaling more fun or as sometimes complex as the changes we’re seeing in Season 28, Seasons (and especially Season Themes, which started with Season 14’s Season of Greed) have granted Diablo 3 over a decade of longevity.
It isn’t that I want Seasons to be over in the game. It’s simply that I can’t help but consider that they may well be.
Diablo 3 Season 28, the Rites of Sanctuary goes live this week, and if it follows the usual schedule it will end between 12 and 18 weeks later — three to four months. In that case, Season 28 would end in May or June, leading into a Season 29 starting sometime in June. But Diablo 4 launches on June 6, so Diablo 3 would have stiff competition for our attention… and that means that we may just not see a Season 29.
Will Season 28 be the last Season?
It is very hard to ignore the fact that Diablo 4 could be launching within a month of Diablo 3 Season 28. Considering how truly complex — and game-changing — the Rites of Sanctuary Season 28 theme looks to be, it’s hard to imagine another Season on anything like that scale even being possible. Diablo 4 is a highly anticipated game that many are looking to steer the franchise into its future.
It’s hardly an unusual move to prioritize the new game over the older one. The exact same thing happened when Diablo 3 launched, and many long term Diablo 2 players found themselves watching the focus shift to the newer installment. It will happen here as well. Season 28 has the feeling of a crescendo, with a whole new kind of character progression added to the game that could well persist into the game as a whole the way Echoing Nightmares were incorporated permanently. It’s kind of hard to imagine where they would take Season Themes in the future that would manage to top this — playable Treasure Goblins? The Treasure Goblin armor set, which randomly spawns a Treasure Goblin every time you kill one? How better to always be hitting goblins than for your own armor to spawn another goblin for you to hit?
There is a Season for all things, even Diablo 3 Seasons
I kid, but it’s still something to ponder. Blizzard hasn’t announced anything like an end to Seasons in Diablo 3, and may well be planning to continue them regardless of Diablo 4‘s trajectory. I am a long term Diablo 3 player and have been since Season 14 now. It hasn’t escaped my attention that Season 28 is not only going to be ending around the game’s eleventh anniversary, but it’s also the 14th Season since Season 14. Saying goodbye to Season Themes — or at least new ones — in Diablo 3 with a gigantic blowout of a Season Theme feels very Diablo, a game that has always swung for the fences, even if it didn’t always get there.
At this point I see three possibilities for Diablo 3 and Seasons.
- The first is a slide into a maintenance mode — maybe instead of getting new Season Themes, we go into a kind of Diablo 3 Seasons Classic approach where Season 29 essentially brings back Season 14’s Season of Greed, and then we get each of the Seasons in turn, until we finally arrive at Season 28’s Rites of Sanctuary and the whole thing repeats again. Alternatively, the exact same thing could happen but with the Season order remixed, so that players won’t know the theme for the next Season ahead of time.
- The second is a simple Thanks for playing Seasons in Diablo 3 post and a full-on shuttering of the Seasons. I think this one is the least likely — while I expect Diablo 4 to absolutely be the new hotness for a while, and Diablo 2 Resurrected is there for nostalgic gamers, Diablo 3 has sustained eleven years of popularity. A lot of players will likely be willing to dip back in from time to time.
- Third, nothing changes. A smaller core of developers remains on Diablo 3, working on Seasonal content that may be smaller in scope than the admittedly very large Season 28 but still provides new gameplay for players taking the Season journey.
I hope for the third. I expect the first. I’d be really surprised for the second — while Blizzard has put games in maintenance mode in the past like Heroes of the Storm or StarCraft 2, I’d be sad to see D3 go that route. Still, with Diablo 4 looming on the horizon, it feels almost impossible for things to continue as they are.
Originally published February 2, 2023; updated February 22, 2023
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