The Diablo franchise is in a strange place. On the one hand, Diablo Immortal is the lowest—rated game in the history of Metacritic by user ratings, and fans oppose its microtransactions and aggressive monetization. On the other hand, many fans were impressed with what they saw in Diablo 4 at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase last weekend, praising the addition of the Necromancer class and the demonstrated gameplay. Despite this, many are worried about Diablo 4 after Diablo Immortal and fear that the new game of the main series may suffer from similar monetization problems.
In an attempt to clarify the situation, the general manager of the Diablo franchise, Rod Fergusson, wrote on Twitter. Fergusson, who presented the new Diablo 4 trailers at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, explained that the game will be “full price” created for ordinary gamers. Fergusson added that Blizzard plans to support Diablo 4 with new content “for many years” after the launch of the game, as well as provide several examples of what this content can be after launch.
As Fergusson explained, “additional cosmetic items” will be sold in Diablo 4, which, presumably, will allow microtransactions to be included in the game. In addition, full-fledged add-ons will also be sold in Diablo 4, as in previous games of the Diablo series. The first Diablo received the Hellfire supplement, and Diablo 2 received the Lord of Destruction supplement. After the release of Diablo 3, two additions were released: Reaper of Souls and Rise of the Necromancer.
It’s not uncommon for Diablo extensions to add new classes to the mix, so it’ll be interesting to see if Diablo 4 does that with support after launch. It’s possible that new character classes will be tied to expansions, as they have been in the past, but it’s also likely that they will be added as free updates, similar to how Blizzard releases new Overwatch heroes for free. Finer details like this won’t be known until we get closer to the release date of Diablo 4, which is currently scheduled for the first half of 2023.
Although Fergusson’s tweet was intended to calm the nerves of Diablo fans who are worried about Diablo 4 after the Diablo Immortal controversy, there are those who are skeptical. Many are concerned that in Diablo 4 there will be elements of a victory fee, as in Diablo Immortal, or players will try to demote in some other way with the help of predatory monetization. Time will tell, but judging by what has already been published, it seems that Diablo 4 will be able to avoid the same mistakes as Diablo Immortal.
Diablo 4 will be released in 2023 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X.