Science

Diablo Immortal: Gacha mechanics give reason for criticism

Image: Blizzard

The sales offer in Diablo Immortal raises tempers. The hashtag #diabloimmoral is circulating on Twitter – immoral Diablo. Endgame upgrades were essentially only obtainable through microtransactions, and unlocking everything costs a six-figure dollar amount. The problem is exacerbated by the target group.

Unlocking everything for a hero in Diablo Immortal requires a six-figure investment, according to an analysis by YouTube channel Bellular News. Legendary gems are needed in the endgame, which can basically only be earned from loot boxes. While there are the necessary boxes as a reward for playing through a dungeon, the highest levels only have a minimal drop rate, even if players have bought emblems that increase drop rates.

While there is a “pitty timer” that guarantees one stone of the highest rarity level every 50 crates, there are only 45 pieces even with the purchase of the largest crate pack. In theory, boxes can also be earned without purchase, but fully upgrading a character then takes around ten years of play, according to the analysis. The bottom line is that it’s impossible to get enough endgame gear through normal play. At this point, Diablo Immortal becomes clearly Pay2Win – and an enormously expensive one, aimed at those players who have already invested a lot of time and money.

Anger is spreading in forums and social media. However, GameStar counters this with the fact that all content is accessible free of charge without spending any money. So casual gamers wouldn’t have a problem. Payment only becomes necessary in the high-level area, in ranked or PVP games. The magazine calls this a “dangerous and manipulative construct”. Above all, what that means is this: The free trial phase, in which newcomers can have fun with the game, is simply making Blizzard a little longer than usual.

In the end, however, Diablo Immortal remains “immoral” in the sense of a typical free-to-play product with an aggressive sales strategy in the style of Candy Crush and Co. Activision Blizzard, the owner of King, has expertise in the same house. In the end, this fact also explains part of the outrage: Diablo Immortal as the next Diablo has the potential to attract many veterans who have little experience with mobile games. In addition, Blizzard is not (yet) associated with aggressive sales models. Serving these players a gacha game produces trouble at the push of a button. Blizzard already knows that from the clumsy announcement of the game.



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