Blizzard is at an interesting place right now in the gaming space. On the one hand, many of their beloved IP isn’t in a place that they can be proud of as they are either dying a slow, painful death or have had a sequel launch that has been blasted by fans and critics alike. That’s not even touching what’s going on behind the scenes via their boss and the various allegations that have been put against him and the company itself. Due to all this, they put a lot of faith in Diablo IV, which has paid off, but with a catch that could hurt them long-term.
First, let’s start out with the positive. Not long after critics started praising Diablo IV as the “best Blizzard game ever,” gamers went and bought the game in droves. To the extent that it’s been confirmed that the title is the fastest-selling Blizzard game ever, and it broke that record within mere hours! This is important for multiple reasons. First, it shows that Blizzard hasn’t fully lost touch with how to make great games, and two, it shows that fans are still willing to buy their games and enjoy them should they know they’re quality.
This record likely wouldn’t have happened if the reviews were not so kind.
But while those sales are impressive, there’s a cost. Specifically, there are microtransactions. That’s nothing new in gaming, as many titles that have a certain potential for microtransactions will have them naturally, so the developer/publisher can get more money.
But as IGN points out, these microtransactions bring “true horror” to the title. To be clear, we’re not talking about the battle passes or even the confirmed expansions that’ll arrive later. We’re talking about the in-game store where you can go and get cosmetic items for a price.
The cosmetic items are just that. They’re cosmetic and don’t affect your character’s stats or abilities. This makes it so you can get these items and not be a “pay-to-win” player. However, some of the prices for these solely cosmetic items are ridiculous.
For example, there’s one armor set that will cost you $25 to get! When you add them all up, you get a total cost of over $357 if you go the cheapest route!
Some gamers have pointed out that you simply “don’t need to buy them,” and that’s true. But the fact that Blizzard is putting out these items and prices, knowing that people will buy them for one reason or another shows that they don’t mind getting really greedy.