Diablo Immortal: New raid boss takes Pay2Win to the extreme

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Diablo Immortal was not particularly well received by the players from the start: A shitstorm followed the announcement of the action RPG. Shortly after the release, things didn't look any better – on the one hand technical problems on PC and mobile devices bothered, on the other hand the aggressive monetization caused loud criticism.

Monetization go far beyond Pay2Win

Under the hashtag #DiabloImmoral, Blizzard was accused that everything in Diablo Immortal can only be unlocked for money – the requirements for the grind that players have to perform alternatively are unattainably high. So high numbers quickly made the rounds; a five- or even six-figure investment is necessary to reach the maximum level and the best equipment for a character. And that, in turn, is necessary to be at the top of rankings. Accordingly, Blizzard's sales strategy is aimed at so-called “whales” – a few players who are willing to put huge sums of money into the game.

This approach now culminates in the first new raid boss Vitaath added by update, according to angry players, for example on Reddit. Said raid can be completed in three different difficulty levels, with Vitaath already being stronger than the previous boss Lassal in the first level: a combat rating of 2,000 is recommended, whereas Lassal should be feasible at level three with a combat rating of 1,640. The first and also Vitaath's second level with a CR of 2450 have already been defeated by a few players, although casual players don't even come close to such battle ratings even after a month of play.

The jump in difficulty to the third stage, however, knocks the bottom out: Even the biggest whales can only get the recommended combat rating of 3,465 with one credit, according to the gallows humor of the Diablo players. In a month, however, the next strongest raid boss is already on the agenda – the accusation is obviously that Blizzard wants to explore how far individual players are willing to go in terms of microtransactions with absurdly high demands on level and equipment. The outrage that everything is Pay2Win is not questioned again in the context of this – the players have obviously already come to terms with this fact.

Success proves Blizzard right

On Metacritic, the PC version of Diablo Immortal stays with it a user score of a ridiculously poor 0.4/10 points – the list of even lower rated titles is very short. On the other hand, players on Android and iOS are rather well-disposed towards Blizzard's action-RPG: The game is rated 3.7/5 stars in the PlayStore and even 4.5/5 stars in the App Store.

The fact that Blizzard's calculations are apparently working is also shown by the lavish earnings: in the first 14 days after the release on June 2, 2022, Diablo Immortal brought in around 24 million US dollars. In the first month after publication, it's already 49 million US dollars. However, the number of mobile downloads only increased from 8.5 to 10 million – the monetization strategy focused on a few whales also becomes clear here.