Blizzard defends Diablo Immortal’s microtransactions

Mike Ybarra smiles for the camera with Diablo warriors in the background.

Blizzard is controversial Diablo immortal started with large quantities and high revenues. It also sparked an ongoing debate about in-game purchases, digital gambling, free mobile games, and addiction. The massive publisher has mostly remained silent amid the negative headlines and criticism. But in a new interview, Blizzard CEO Mike Ybarra has defended the game’s launch and its controversial monetization, citing high app store ratings to claim that most players are enjoying the game.

in yesterday extensive interview with the LA timesBlizzard President Mike Ybarra spoke on numerous topics, including the many issues Blizzard faces as it navigates the aftermath of last year’s explosive lawsuit by the California Department of Equal Employment and Housing and the ensuing aftermath Barrage of harassment and discrimination lawsuits against Activision Blizzard.

He also spoke about the company’s newest game, the mobile free-to-play action RPG spin-off Diablo immortal. While many have criticized the game’s in-app purchases, low drop rates, and potentially exploitative mechanics, Ybarra defended the game, saying Blizzard built it so that players could “literally use 99.5% of everything in the game.” could do for free” while still getting a full version”Diablo Experience.”

“Monetization comes at the end of the game,” Ybarra told the outlet. “The philosophy has always been to lead with great gameplay and ensure hundreds of millions of people can go through the entire campaign at no cost. From that point of view, I think it’s a really good starter Diablo.”

Ybarra said so too LA times that he and others within the company are aware of online complaints and concerns. But he still defended mobile ARPG by showing towards its high rating in the Apple App Storewhich seems to suggest that the wider community of people is playing Immortal have no problem with the game or its in-app purchases.

A screenshot of Diablo Immortal from the App Store shows its currently high rating.

According to that LA times, Blizzard explained in a follow-up email that the “vast majority” of players aren’t spending money on the game, but wouldn’t reveal any specific details. Ybarra seems to be implying that this is a feature and not a bug, but let’s be clear: if this game ever stops raising millions of dollars, it’s unlikely that Blizzard will let it run out of the goodness of its heart.

Of course, while many players (myself included) continue to play and have fun diablo immortal, You can’t deny that you can spend a lot of money on it if you want to reach the top of the leaderboards and/or maximize your character’s gear or stats. Blizzard doesn’t seem to have created any real safeguards to keep people from it Pour thousands of dollars into the game to get high tier gems, and with the game’s miserable drop rates, it can become a dangerous situation for people who can’t control themselves.

Based on what Ybarra said, and how much money Immortal brings dailyit seems very unlikely that the game will be changed anytime soon to address player concerns about it and its economy.

Many players are now concerned about what to expect from next year’s big entry into the series. DiabloIV. Blizzard says it won’t be anything like that Immortal and will only include “cosmetic” microtransactionsbut even that may seem like too much to some observers.