WTF?! We all knew that as a free-to-play mobile game (also on PC), Diablo Immortal would have a big focus on microtransactions. But according to analysis, Activision Blizzard has proved just how aggressive it can be when it comes to squeezing players: it costs around $110,000 to upgrade a character fully.
Diablo Immortal has proved controversial since it was revealed back at BlizzCon 2018. Unveiling an FTP mobile Diablo famously led to an audience member asking if the whole thing was an "out of season April fool's joke." But its arrival has brought some fairly positive reviews with one huge caveat: the monetization is on a whole new level of bad.
YouTube channel Bellular News (via Game Rant) latest video looks at the game's Legendary Gems, one of its three progression pillars alongside XP level and equipment level. They can be used to upgrade a character in the post-game but can only be unlocked by purchasing Legendary Crests, aka loot boxes, meaning you're not even guaranteed to get one. So, if you want to upgrade a post-game character fully, be prepared to drop around $110,000 worth of gems.
This Redditor did some calculations and worked out that with it taking around 100 crests per gem, fully maxing out six 5-Star gems to Rank 10 will cost about $40,000 to $45,000. Achieving this feat unlocks resonating boards. While nobody has managed to do it yet, preview images imply that to fully resonate a board entails repeating the process several times, which would mean handing over thousands of dollars more.
"In order to go from 40/50 to 50/50 on your 5 gems resonating boards, you would have to spend about another $50-60,000," writes u/daymeeuhn. And what is one of the two incredible stat boosts you receive for this outlay? A 1% reduction to incoming damage, apparently.
Diablo Immortal— Zack (@Asmongold) June 6, 2022
P2W vs F2P pic.twitter.com/YSOMDsh3nv
Diablo Immortal's loot boxes have already seen the game pulled from the Netherlands and Belgium for violating the countries' anti-gambling laws that forbid the mechanic.
The microtransaction controversy brings to mind the Star Wars Battlefront 2 furor from 2017, in which a someone calculated it would take 4,528 hours of gameplay (or $2,100) to unlock all base-game content in the game. The outcry led to EA removing the "pay-to-win" elements, the launching of class-action lawsuits, and several countries revamping their gambling laws.