UPDATE 5PM BST: There's been a development and it may not be the one you're hoping for. David Brevik has said he's not working on Diablo now or in the near future.
"There has been a lot of speculation (and hope), but I'm not working on the Diablo franchise currently or in the near future," he tweeted.
Given that, what does his earlier tweet about being "the adviser for the game that pushes this genre to new heights" mean? Does it mean he's working on an entirely separate game in the genre?
And why were he and Bill Roper visiting Blizzard? To talk about appearing on the Diablo panel at BlizzCon? Or perhaps to record a special Diablo anniversary video?
We shall see!
ORIGINAL STORY 11.30 AM BST: Is Blizzard poised to announce Diablo 4 at BlizzCon in early November? There are signs that can be interpreted that way.
The most elaborate sign concerns an unusual four-sided, Diablo-themed die, which is included in the BlizzCon 2016 Goody Bag - a limited edition $35 box of stuff that people with a virtual BlizzCon ticket can buy.
The die is unusual because the numbers on one face are printed wrong, rendering it more or less unusable. Instead of displaying ones on the table-touching part of all three faces of the die, the Diablo die instead displays two ones and a four. That's one-one-four, or four-one-one. Or, if you're looking at a calendar, 4th November. And 4th November is when BlizzCon 2016 starts.
Curious, no? Even more so when you consider the shorthand for "four-sided die" is "D4", which would also be the shorthand for "Diablo 4". Did Blizzard deliberately misprint the die?
Strengthening speculation of a Diablo 4 BlizzCon 2016 reveal was a tweet by David Brevik, a man who was instrumental in creating the series. He co-founded Blizzard North and was one of a handful of people who birthed Diablo, and then helped direct Diablo 2. But Brevik left Blizzard in 2003. However as of January 2016 he became a free agent again. And then yesterday he tweeted this:
For 20 years, Diablo-like games have evolved & surprised us. I'm proud to be the adviser for the game that pushes this genre to new heights. pic.twitter.com/LIT3i0UwJv— David Brevik (@davidbrevik) October 16, 2016
His tweet, in case you can't see the embedded tweet above, said: "For 20 years, Diablo-like games have evolved & surprised us. I'm proud to be the adviser for the game that pushes this genre to new heights."
The tweet also showed a picture of the Libra constellation. Why? We don't know. Astrologically speaking, the Libra zodiac sign is usually understood as governing the period 23rd September to 22nd October, which ends before BlizzCon begins (4th November). But in sidereal astrology, Libra runs 16th October to 17th November.
David Brevik also recently (6th October) tweeted a picture taken at Blizzard HQ, as did Bill Roper, who was once vice president of Blizzard North and producer of the first two Diablo games.
What were they doing there? Are they working on Diablo 4 and planning an announcement for BlizzCon 2016?
Looking more closely at the BlizzCon 2016 schedule, there are only three Diablo-themed sessions planned for the event. There's a 45-minute Diablo 20th anniversary panel at midnight UK time on Friday, 4th October; followed by an hour-long Diablo art and design panel on Saturday, 5th October at 6.15pm UK time; then a Diablo 3 dev talk and Q&A at 11pm UK time the same day.
That schedule doesn't leave much time for a deep reveal of a new Diablo game if indeed there is one. And deep reveals tend to be Blizzard's style. Track back to 2008 and the reveal of Diablo 3: Blizzard announced the new game and then followed up with a press conference, showing it in more detail.
But there could certainly be time for a 'Diablo 4 is coming - more details later' announcement. And this BlizzCon, which marks the 20th anniversary of Diablo (and also the 25th anniversary of Blizzard and the 10th anniversary of BlizzCon), would be the time and place to do it.
It's now been four years since Diablo 3 launched, and two years since expansion Reaper of Souls. And back in July, Blizzard was advertising for a game director of an unannounced Diablo project.
Or, could this simply be a remaster of Diablo 2, the most adored game in the series? Given that Blizzard recently patched Diablo 2 to make it work properly with newer operating systems, I doubt it. Diablo 1, then? That's a better shout. But, well, why?