Blizzard’s new hit mobile game Diablo Immortal is facing backlash for its pay-to-win tactics, with players paying up to $150,000 to fully upgrade characters.
Diablo Immortal, a new release from legendary games company Blizzard in collaboration with Chinese mobile phone giant Netease, launched last week.
It’s the latest entry in the no less famous series that depicts the heroes of the world of Sanctuary battling the eternal hordes of demons and monsters that threaten it.
Which it wasn’t traditionally about buying your way to power and glory through microtransactions, and some fans fear that’s exactly what this edition does best.
It should be noted that the beginning of the game of Diablo Immortal (the first 30 hours or so) are perfectly enjoyable. Minimal demands for extra money, no timing, easy progression and fun to play. “Best gameplay I’ve had on mobile,” was tossed around in a few user reviews. It’s fast-paced, action-packed, even fun.
This extends to some elements of this endgame, such as making rifts, procedurally generated dungeons to hit enemies and get loot. Being able to step in and do it at any time via a device in your pocket was welcomed. Fans of the previous episode, Diablo 3say they appreciate it as an alternative to that.
Clearly, Blizzard and Netease did something right, as the game topped the charts on iOS and Android platforms worldwide, including the United States.
A whopping 30 million players have shown interest in the ongoing beta and while we’re talking trivia, the mentions on Twitter aren’t the hellfire you’d expect for a poorly received Blizzard game.
Here it is: But.
But a large number of gamers are absolutely enraged by the state of the game. It was never going to be well received, as a mobile spin-off of a popular game series and with a poor announcement and marketing strategy. However, this has been doubled by what has been dubbed paid monetization methods which include costs of up to over $150,000 for a max character, per Rant game.
It comes down to the final currency, Legendary Gems, using a gacha-within-a-gacha system, making the best possible incredibly rare. You can access these gems for free, but only a certain number of them per month. Alright, you can spend six figures to speed up the PvE part of a game, worse things have happened – unfortunately Diablo Immortal also has a PvP mode, where your purchases are perfectly legal and make you a favorite.
Plus, combined gacha systems mean that none of this is actually guaranteed. You might get very lucky and end up in a good place, you might have to spend way more than that. Indeed, a streamer dropped US$4000 (A$5500) and came out the other end with nothing they wanted.
This led to a carpet bombing of the game’s users metacritical score, as reported by VGC. It is not the most important measure, but certainly a symbol of happiness and intention of a large audience of players.
Again, going back, how many of these people actually play? The subreddit – one of the few places to discuss the game in any capacity, as there are no official forums – is roughly 50/50 with posts denouncing the game’s microtransactions and those saying that they appreciate it.
A key factor in doing this seems to be committing to not being “competitive” (either in PvP or playing high-end content as fast as possible) and not exhausting yourself playing too much a day, as one see it in these of themson.
Time will tell how Immortal go down in history. So far, a lot of people are playing, a lot of people are having fun, and a lot of people are hating. All seem to have a point to make.
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