Blizzard’s lawyers have apparently asked a Diablo Immortal meme website to be taken down. The site’s owner reported that he heard from the Irvine-based company’s lawyers after an initial request to purchase the domain. The domain in question is playdiablo4.com, a URL that was originally registered in September of this year. The owner of the domain saw the opportunity for a fun joke and decided to have it redirect to the Path of Exile website. Path of Exile is a competing title in the Action RPG genre by New Zealand-based Grinding Gear Games.
The popularity of the domain seemed to pick up a little steam following the announcement of Diablo Immortal, a mobile game for the franchise announced at Blizzcon 2018 to a lukewarm reception. This Diablo Immortal meme eventually got the domain owner /u/BlueLightningTN in a bit of hot water. He stated that he was contacted by Blizzard lawyers and asked to kill the redirect and turn the domain over to the company. Additionally, he states that the lawyers accused him of cybersquatting and trademark infringement.
Adding to /u/BlueLightningTN’s trouble was his apparent ban from the /r/Diablo subreddit for allegedly breaking its rules. He finds himself mystified as to what rules his posts could have possibly broken and he states that it’s more likely he was banned by a moderator because of the bad PR that he creating for the company.
/u/BlueLightningTN wasn’t exactly prepared to enter into a legal battle with a multi-billion dollar company over a Diablo Immortal meme. As a result, he complied insofar as removing the redirect for playdiablo4.com to the Path of Exile website. However, he doesn’t seem to be the sort of person to pass up the opportunity for a good bit of banter, as he has since replaced the redirect with the Google Image search for “phone.” This refers to an unfortunate response by a Blizzard developer who had asked “Do you guys not have phones?” when a fan had queried whether or not Diablo Immortal would be making its way to PC.
When one Diablo Immortal meme goes down, another pops up to take its place. Blizzard has its work cut out when it comes to getting more fans interested in Diablo Immortal and it certainly won’t help those efforts to focus on silly things like a Diablo Immortal meme.