With Diablo IV back in the news and the largely-maligned Diablo Immortal still a topic of conversation, developer Blizzard wants everyone to know that the two games are alike in name only.
Diablo Immortal garnered significant criticism following its June 2 launch for all the reasons mobile games are inherently disliked. By going free-to-play, the only way for Diablo Immortal to make money is through microtransactions that are annoying at best and predatory at worst, confirming the worst fears of both long-time Diablo fans and those who don’t want video games to prey on folks prone to addiction.
That’s probably why, when content creator Gothalion said he was “excited for [Diablo IV] to not have mobile-style monetization” after its showing at an Xbox event last Sunday, Blizzard global community lead Adam Fletcher quickly latched onto the backhanded compliment to distance the upcoming game from Diablo Immortal’s shortcomings.
“[Diablo IV] is coming out as a full-price game built strictly for PC and console audiences,” Fletcher wrote on Twitter in response to Gothalion’s comment. “The game is huge and there will be tons of content after launch for all players. Paid content is built around optional cosmetic items and eventually full expansions.”
Fletcher didn’t mention Diablo Immortal by name, of course—but come on. We all know what he was talking about, just like we all know what Blizzard senior vice president and Diablo general manager Rod Fergusson was talking about when he expressed the exact same thoughts later that day.
“[Diablo IV] is a full-price game built for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox audiences,” Fergusson reiterated. “We are committed to delivering an incredible breadth of content after launch, for years to come, anchored around optional cosmetic items and full story-driven expansions.”
Listen guys, we get it. The money to be made from Diablo Immortal whales was way too good to pass up and, if I had to guess, the early profits were probably funneled straight into getting Diablo IV ready for its still-vague 2023 release window. But with your company’s name already in the crapper due to numerous sexual misconduct allegations, was Diablo Immortal really worth all the extra negative attention?
I don’t know. I’m just a simple blogger, but I imagine it must suck doing all this damage control for Diablo IV, which looks pretty good otherwise, because your bosses couldn’t resist fleecing a handful of diehard min-maxxers and compulsive gamblers.