Diablo Immortal — a game for whales


The recently released Diablo Immortal has apparently been embroiled in controversy ever since it was first announced at BlizzCon 2018. Although this dispute was initially centered around a game created for mobile platforms, it changed after the game’s release in June.

Since then, Diablo Immortal has attracted negative attention due to the alleged dependence on microtransactions that the game imposes on players. While microtransactions can be expected in a free mobile game, many refer to the fact that the Diablo Immortal system greatly contributes to the pay-to-win system, which favors whales who are happy to spend a lot of money on the game.

The scale of Diablo Immortal microtransactions

The main source of controversy surrounding Diablo Immortal microtransactions is related to the fact that in-game payments are essentially necessary to achieve the highest power levels in the title. Since many people call the free gameplay time-consuming and monotonous, players are forced to buy in-game items such as buffs and modifiers. The game also has loot boxes with items that are not easy to find in normal gameplay.

These loot boxes epitomize what’s wrong with Diablo Immortal for many fans, as they are the only way to get legendary-level gems without spending a really huge amount of game hours. Considering that some players have estimated that a full equipment upgrade in Diablo Immortal can cost up to $ 110,000, it becomes clear why the game has a negative reputation due to the exceptionally large-scale microtransaction business model. At the same time, the remaining player base and the profit that Diablo Immortal boasts suggest that the game remains attractive to a certain demographic group of players.

Why Diablo Immortal was created for whales

Despite the loud criticism of microtransactions in the game, sales of Diablo Immortal on mobile devices alone recently exceeded $ 100 million. This significant revenue stream in such a short period of time confirms the fact that a dedicated player base remains for the game, and part of this player base spends huge amounts of money.

Used in various financial contexts, “whales” refer to extremely wealthy people who tend to spend huge amounts of money. Because of this, whales can invest huge amounts in a game based on microtransactions, even if they make up only a small part of the game’s demographic group. Since some Diablo Immortal players actually spend over $100,000 on in-game purchases, it becomes clear that whales largely exist in the mobile dungeon scanner.

As annoying as it may be to the average player, the existence of this subset of Immortal players may mean that Blizzard does not consider it necessary to change microtransactions in the game. While Diablo Immortal continues to make a profit, the company has good reasons to maintain its existing business model, despite the loud controversy surrounding it. As long as there are players who are still actively participating in the current level of in-game purchases, it can be argued that no changes are required as the whales continue to have fun.

If this system remains the same, many players will most likely turn to similar mobile games in which the microtransaction system is less rigid than in Diablo Immortal. This will leave the only remaining player base consisting of people who invest a lot of money in the game, with whom the average player simply cannot compete. Although a change in Diablo Immortal in-game purchases may still occur in the future, it is clear that in its current state, the game is focused on an open pay-to-win system that only whales can adhere to and enjoy.

Diablo Immortal is already available for Android, iOS and PC.


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