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Why Diablo 4’s Continued Popularity Is A Good Thing For Path Of Exile 2?

Jun 02, 2023

The developers at Blizzard and Grinding Gear Games have always been at odds with the latter being the beneficiary of the former’s incredible size and surprising capacity to fumble both their products and communities. In particular, this relationship is so closely knit and competitive due to the striking initial similarity of Blizzard’s Diablo franchise and GGG’s only title Path of Exile.

Since the announcement of Diablo 4, this has only become even more true although one side Blizzard refuses to truly acknowledge the sizeable dedicated community and engrossing gameplay of POE, while Chris Wilson and his colleague are unafraid of poking fun at and admitting to knowing Blizzard and Diablo 4 are their largest present competitors. 

However, with the gargantuan presence and likely success of Diablo 4, we, the community and GGG, the developers can only benefit. Let’s explore why Diablo 4’s popularity, especially in the beginning, will help Path of Exile and its largest upcoming expansion in history - Path of Exile 2 flourish. 

Why Diablo 4’s Continued Popularity Is A Good Thing For Path Of Exile 2?

The Original King Of ARPGs 

Diablo is the progenitor of action role-playing games. In Diablo 1, Blizzard engineered the basic loop of kill monsters, get loot, increase power and go again. 

Then, with the release of Diablo 2 and its expansion, Lord Of Destruction, they unraptured a host of people across the gaming sphere. This included the three founders of Grinding Gear Games: Chris Wilson, Jonathan Rogers, and Erik Olofsson, who built their company to create the definitive spiritual successor to Diablo 2. That game became Path of Exile. While it’s definitely similar to Diablo 2 in many ways, it has evolved into a realm of its own over the past decade and completely split from Diablo 2’s actual successor, Diablo 3. 

What D4 Will Accomplish?

Blizzard’s latest release Diablo 4 might be an ARPG, but it’s not looking to swallow POE whole. Instead, it’s aiming to amass a new following, bringing swaths of new players to the ARPG genre while lightly appealing to the core values of ARPG veterans. 

Diablo 4 will be simpler than Path of Exile, especially at its launch. But that simplicity has and will lead to Substantial Commercial Success. Upon its launch, Diablo 3 set the record for the fastest selling PC game of all time, reaching 3.5 million copies sold during the game’s first 24 hours of release. 

Diablo 4 is speculated to surmount that performance. Diablo 4’s two betas in March 2023 witnessed historic player numbers with 2.6 million players hitting level 20 and earning the special Wolf Pack Cosmetic. The game is sending to the number one spot on Twitch and playtime, attaining over 61.5 million hours. That’s stupefying.

As it currently stands, Diablo 4 is easy to understand a streamlined experience and likely a great game to play through at least once or twice. We do not know if it will stand strong post-launch even though Blizzard has promised a consistent meaty content cycle. They say plenty they need to prove it.

Diablo 4

Players Will Be Hungry For More Depth

The developers of Path of Exile do have proved the steadiness and substantiveness of their own content machine many times over. They know their game is deeper, richer, and some folks who are introduced to ARPGs through Diablo 4 will be hungry for more. Due to past incidents, they know a horde of refugees is incoming. 

For a concrete example, we can zip back to the distant past with the disappointment and Diablo 3’s endgame and the flocking to the in beta Path of Exile or we can swiftly glimpse at a much more recent incident. 

Diablo 4 had two betas in March 2023: one for those who purchased the game from March 18th to March 20th and another open to everyone from March 25th to March 27th. As already mentioned numerous, folks participated and even more people consumed Diablo 4 content. They were primed for ARPGs. 

But Diablo 4 was unavailable. So, what did these voracious individuals do? They looked for other options. Many discovered three. Diablo 3 was in the midst of its 28th and final new content season. Last Epoch was growing closer to the end of its beta and receiving praise from a sizable chunk of content creators and ARPG fans. And Path of Exile was about to release its latest expansion, Crucible, on April 7th, 2023. People swarmed to it.

The Diablo 4 Bump For POE

Despite adding a minimalist league mechanic, Crucible League set a new concurrent player record for Path of Exile on its launch day. 321,180 Exiles washed up on the Twilight strand to fight hillock. Not only that, one week in the Crucible League had more day 7 concurrent players than any other Path of Exile league in history, edging just over 124,000 concurrents.

Of course, Path of Exile as a core game was and is in its best state ever. But this wasn’t normal. This was the Diablo 4 bump. People played Diablo 4 couldn’t anymore and sought to scratch the ARPG itch as soon as possible. This influx of players will not be the last.

Blizzard’s Long Reach

Blizzard can reach a much wider audience with their games. They have the budget and the Diablo name behind them. Their marketing campaign alone for Diablo 4 must have caught lost millions between huge ad buys on every social media channel available. Partnerships with KFC and actual gaming companies deal with content creators of all sizes and much more.

The people brought in by this campaign word of mouth from friends or just because they played Diablo 2 in 2001 and are curious about Diablo 4 will not all stay with Diablo briefly after its launch or the many seasons it will probably boast. They’ll look for other similar games either out of curiosity or frustration and boredom with Diablo 4. 

My POE Origin, Thank You Azmodan 

That’s my Path of Exile story. I, a totally sane Exile, was playing through Diablo 3 for the first time in 2019 and could not stand Azmodan’s silly supposedly sinister musings or the super simple gameplay systems. 

Diablo 3 Azmodan

I logged out after reaching the bottom of the big wall in Act 3, searched games like Diablo 3 as I was itching for an ARPG, and found Path of Exile. I downloaded it that night and the next day, when I got home from my college work, I played from 9 pm to 6 am without knowing it. That was the first time I pulled an unaware all-nighter 

Even if Diablo 4 is better than Diablo 3, there will be plenty of refugees searching for something similar but better. Path of Exile 1 now and Path of Exile 2 in the future can and will be the game they’re looking for. 

How GGG & POE Can Capitalize On Diablo 4’s Success?

The masterminds at GGG, led by Chris Wilson, know all of this. They understand Diablo 4 will be huge but will not satisfy a set of players. Those players could find a home and have their souls stolen if they discover a Path of Exile. However, the next expansion is not due out until August 2023

What could GGG do in the meantime? They are appearing at the summer game fest on June 8th, seven days after Diablo 4’s Early Access launch. Perhaps, they’ll tease a bit of POE 2 or POE 3.22 then. I’m skeptical as ExileCon 2023 occurs on July 29th and 30th. But that’s so far away. Even considering Path of Exile’s official decade anniversary is this year on October 23rd and could mark a huge event for the game, that’s too long off as well.

Path of Exile ExileCon 2023

Historically, Grinding Gear Games has outmaneuvered Blizzard intelligently and quickly. At ExileCon 2019, about a month after the momentous Diablo 4 reveal, they showcased Path of Exile 2 and played a live version of it in front of the crowd, upstaging the well-rehearsed Blizzard.

Plus, they jabbed Blizzard with their POE mobile announcement right after that. With Diablo 4’s imminent release, unless something curious is planned for the summer game fest, I’m not sure if there’s anything huge GGG can do.

How Us Exiles Can Welcome Travelers from Sanctuary?

Yet, both us totally sane Exiles and GGG can be welcoming to Diablo refugees to other Exiles. I ask you to assist those in need as they flop onto the beach in the final stretch of Crucible League and answer questions in global chat. Don’t annihilate newbies on the POE Subreddit. Help our community grow and flourish with this boost from Blizzard. 

To GGG, continue doing what you’ve done in the past. Make humble, steady updates, release news and content when you know it’s ready to kindly pounce on Blizzard. If they make a mistake, it’s all the better that they don’t even acknowledge Path of Exile as a serious competitor. Everyone knows this and with the release of Diablo 4, it’ll become an even more serious contender.


I’m praying for Diablo 4 to be successful at least initially. This is Blizzard’s first real new game release since OverWatch in 2016. It’s bound to be a tremendous hit. You can buy a large amount of Diablo 4 Gold in advance. This can save you a lot of trouble.

If you have to wait for Path of Exile 3.22 or Path of Exile 2, it is also necessary to reserve a large amount of POE Currency. In this way, you can make excellent builds prior to other players. 


Next: A Discussion On POE 3.21 Rampage Crucible Mod Duping
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