Despite backlash from some players Diablo immortalThe free-to-play game design with lots of microtransactions seems to work well for Blizzard’s bottom line. Using data from mobile analytics company Appmagic, MobileGamer.biz estimates that the iOS and Android versions of the game brought in $49 million in revenue from just over 10 million mobile downloads in the first 30 days of the versions’ availability.
These estimates, based on public charts provided by the mobile platforms, do not include the PC version of the game and therefore may be undercut the extent of its financial success. With PC players locked in, Blizzard has announced that Diablo immortal reached 10 million installs in just over a weekwell above the mobile download speed estimated by Appmagic.
In comparison, Diablo III It took nearly six months to sell 10 million copies after its rocky start in 2012. But this game retailed for $60, making it difficult to directly compare it to a free-to-play game that has generated an estimated average profit of less than $5 per download, according to Appmagic.
The long tail
While Diablo IIIHowever, the earnings of were brought forward in the first sales, Diablo immortal seems well positioned to generate additional revenue from its existing player base for a long time to come. For example, as of Monday, the game was still the 34th top-grossing app across the iOS App Store, despite falling to 134th in terms of new downloads.
Many of them initially Immortal Players (and payers) will of course eventually drop out of the game. But this process can be slower than you might think. Android app retention estimates by analytics firm Quettra point to an app making the “Top 10” in the Google Play Store (such as Diablo immortal did) can expect to retain nearly 60 percent of its first-time users after three months. And public data from mobile hits like Pokemon Go, Angry Birdsand candy Crush Saga suggests that about 10 to 20 percent of all players who downloaded these games were still regular players a year or two after launch.
This suggests Diablo immortal will have millions of active players well into next year and beyond. And while the vast majority of these players will never spend a single dime on the game, the top whales could easily spend enough on the game’s confusing currency rates to keep Blizzard’s revenue going for a long time.
Blizzard has promised that shortly Diablo IV will limit microtransactions to optional cosmetics. But the early performance for Diablo immortal helps show why the free-to-play business model can be so attractive for a publisher like Blizzard, even though it can be annoying for many players.