Blizzard says Diablo Immortal microtransactions are OK because “vast majority” isn’t spending money

Diablo Immortal microtransactions

This feels like a 2010s argument from EA

I don’t really envy anyone who has to defendĀ Diablo Immortal, especially if they had no direct input with its monetization systems. You’re caught between a rock and a hard place, right?! The entire endgame is predicated on spending money, and the mixup between what constitutes pay-to-win and what “equipment” is really didn’t do the game any favors. Now, Blizzard is saying Diablo Immortal microtransactions are OK because most people don’t partake in them. What year is it?

Speaking to the LA Times, Blizzard boss Mike Ybarra does just that. Ybarra contends that “the monetization comes in at the end game,” and that “the philosophy was always to lead with great gameplay and make sure that hundreds of millions of people can go through the whole campaign without any costs…from that standpoint, [he] feels really good about it as an introduction to Diablo.” He also cites the “high user reviews on the App Store” as proof that there’s nothing wrong with the game.

Seeking a follow-up, the LA Times got a response back from a Blizzard rep, who noted that “the vast majority of players aren’t spending money” on Diablo Immortal microtransactions, and that “50% of players have never played a Diablo game before.”

The idea that predatory monetization schemes are fine because only a small percentage of whales dole out chunks of cash is something straight out of an EA executive’s mouth in the 2010s. It’s old hat! Executives really need to get a little bit more creative if they’re going to keep defending this stuff, especially amid issues like not even being able to release the game in certain countries because of the cash model.

Don’t you all have bank accounts?

Chris Carter
Reviews Director, Co-EIC - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!