Is Diablo Immortal pay to win? Blizzard CEO doesn’t think so

Olivia Richman • July 7, 2022 6:33 pm

Diablo Immortal has been under fire for its extensive in-game microtransactions. But now Blizzard’s Mike Ybarra is defending the mobile game as backlash continues.

After just two weeks on mobile devices, Diablo Immortal earned over $24 million in revenue, with Blizzard boasting $1 million a day from Diablo Immortal microtransactions. Big name streamers like Asmongold have ranted about the publisher’s greediness, aiming to prove the ridiculous nature of the microtransactions on stream.

With streamers spending thousands in order to improve their end-game armor and weapons due to a controversial loot box-like system, the gaming community became quite vocal about the questionable ethics behind Diablo Immortal. Blizzard president Ybarra has decided to respond to the ongoing backlash in an interview with Los Angeles Times.

Blizzard CEO responds to Diablo Immortal backlash

Due to the abundance of microtransactions, the mobile Diablo game has been accused of being pay-to-win. Streamers explained that players will suddenly hit a wall in the late game that forces them to gamble on loot boxes to get better equipment to avoid an insane amount of grinding. But Ybarra doesn’t agree with this sentiment.

Ybarra said that the game’s monetization still allows millions of people to play Diablo Immortal for free, well at least 99.5% of the game. Ybarra explained that the monetization only comes “at the endgame,” meaning players don’t have to spend anything to get to the end of the game.

“The philosophy was always to lead with great gameplay and make sure that hundreds of millions of people can go through the whole campaign without any costs. From that standpoint, I feel really good about it as an introduction to Diablo,” Ybarra said.

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