Diablo Immortal took only a few days to win the title of the game with the worst rating in the history of Blizzard. The user reaction is most obviously related to the “pay to win” mechanics present in the game, since it takes more than a thousand dollars to fully upgrade one character — or many years of tedious free gameplay.
According to a detailed breakdown of the game’s microtransactions and overall monetization system, Diablo Immortal players are costing a whopping $110,000 to upgrade just one playable character. The figure includes both paid gameplay improvements and cosmetics. With such a pile of money, gamers can pass restrictive timers and level up their heroes on the go, as well as spend money on additional chests and gems. A free-to-play option would be to wait every time the game forces, in which case a character upgrade could take almost a decade of life.
On Metacritic, Diablo Immortal was consigned to oblivion, which led to the lowest user rating in Blizzard history (via VGC). The current figure is 0.5, and users call the “pay to win” mechanics in Diablo Immortal the main reason for disliking the game. His score matches that of World of Warcraft Classic: Burning Crusade and is only one tenth lower than that of the notorious Warcraft 3 remake with its 0.6 user rating. It is worth noting that although both Diablo Immortal and Burning Crusade Classic received the same audience ratings, the former has a higher percentage of negative reviews, and also attracts more players expressing their disappointment. Critics were more supportive of Blizzard’s latest game, resulting in an average score of 75 out of 100.
With all the criticism surrounding Diablo Immortal, it’s easy to fall under the influence of misleading information. Recently, the game was accused of involving microtransactions that break the game, which forced game director Wyatt Cheng to respond to such claims on Twitter. According to Cheng, reports about Diablo Immortal microtransactions were misleading and harmful to the perception of the game. The in-game store does work differently, but in fact it only takes an extra step to get the same result as purchasing enhanced items.
Diablo Immortal, which the main audience of the franchise hates all over the world, is not difficult to understand. Fans were hoping for a branded gaming experience, despite the initial negative response to the ad. And while Diablo Immortal works pretty confidently on phones among many other profitable mobile grinders, the game has failed badly on PC with its predatory monetization system. Perhaps Blizzard’s biggest mistake was that all the mechanics remained intact for the PC version. Reducing the number of microtransactions and narrowing them could help a lot, along with selling the game at full price, which would be a fair offer.