Diablo Immortal Director Worries Microtransaction Fury Is Being Driven By ‘Misinformation’

Diablo Immortal Director Worries Microtransaction Fury Is Being Driven By ‘Misinformation’
Screenshot: Diablo Immortal, Blizzard Entertainment

As online criticism of the heavy microtransaction mechanics in Diablo Immortal continues to grow, game director Wyatt Cheng has attempted to respond on Twitter.

As reported by VGC, Diablo Immortal game director Wyatt Cheng has responded to critics of the game’s heavy monetisation and microtransaction model. Responding to critiques from Twitch streamer Zizaran, who asked for clarification around the matter, Cheng sought to clear up what he felt are complaints around the game based on ‘misinformation’. The reason Cheng has had to make an appearance is that Zizaran brought up a post from the game’s Blizzard forums where Cheng stated there was “no way to acquire or rank up gear using money,” in Diablo Immortal.

What Wyatt says is perfectly true: You can’t buy specific gear in Diablo Immortal using real money, nor is there any microtransaction mechanic to increase its power directly. You can, however, buy a chance to gain Legendary Gems, which can be used to further upgrade a character once they hit the level cap and end-game content. Legendary Gems only come from Legendary Crests (or loot boxes), and each crest has a chance to drop Legendary Gems of different star tiers. It’s been estimated that if you were to attempt to max-out a post-game character using Legendary Gems, you’d be looking at a buy-in over over $100,000. Because of this roundabout approach, Cheng’s original comment has been labelled by some, including Zizaran, as disingenuous.

One Twitter user asked Cheng why he bothered to respond at all, comparing his approach to that of Activision-Blizzard mobile developer King. “King doesn’t justify charging $100 for a pack of lives in Candy Crush,” asked user YangCLiu, “why does Blizzard feel it needs to be apologetic for a game that cost $50m+ and 6 years to make?”

Obviously, it shouldn’t be a surprise that a mobile game is angled to make as much money as it possibly can, as quickly as it can. This has long been a popular mobile model, particularly for games aimed at Asian markets, which Diablo Immortal undoubtedly is. Nevertheless, when it comes from a name as recognisable as Blizzard, it seems to be a tough pill to swallow for many.

What’s your take on this situation? Are you surprised by Diablo Immortal‘s aggressive monetisation? Not surprised at all? Do you think Cheng makes a reasonable argument, or can you at least see his point? Lets discuss in the comments below.



    • This right here.

      And people who make those small technicality based arguments to go on about ‘teh misinformationz!’ being spread are more scummy to me than those who’d blatantly be like “Yeah, we just want to take people’s money.” up front.

      • Yeah, Cheng should just shut his trap at this point. The guy clearly lacks an ability to read the room.

  • Or..
    They created a fucking predatory, micro-transaction riddled, abomination exclusively designed to con people out of their money.

    What a joke. I hope they absolutely crash and burn.

  • I’m sorry outrage gamers, this game pretty much delivers exactly what was promised and what they set out to make for a market that is not the ones whining.

    I hate MTX and mobile games with a burning passion, but this type of game does exist and is highly successfully for a reason, sadly.

    Imagine getting upset that it is hot on a summers day or upset cos a dog is barking. The world would be better if either those this, and mobile games were different, but here is this world they are.

    • Honestly.. kinda saw this coming.. of course people would jump on this game so much when it’s designed as almost every other F2P MMORPG Mobage out there.

      Played the game on beta.. its basically D3 lite on the go.. was decent enough I guess but it’s obviously been made as a mobile game first and pc as an after thought. The mechanics and microtransactions are all in line with mobile gaming which never goes well on PC to begin with.

      That being said… the insane P2W systems at work which is becoming the norm on a lot of games these days isn’t exactly a good thing either..

    • Yes, this may ‘delivers exactly what was promised’, but they didn’t deliver what was wanted. Which was just another Diablo game minus all the predatory nonsense.

      It shows a lack of respect to the fans who made Diablo popular and is motivated out of pure greed. Blizzard didn’t used to be motivated purely by money, now they obviously are. I think their user base deserves better than to be seen as walking wallets.

      • Hate to break it to you, ‘what was wanted’ is meaningless. Some gamers sure have delusions about their importance in the grand scheme of game making. The devs werent making the game for gamers, but for MOBILE gamers, which are a completely different breed of gamers all together. Likewise the investors dont care they are upsetting gamers, cos all the outrage is like free advertising. Sure we can all live in hope their MTX is so ill-received even mobile gamers hate it, then the rest of us can laugh and laugh, but in terms of all the Japanese and Chinese gacha games out there this really isnt that terrible.

        That said I hope in a few months I can look back at laugh when the game tanks, but for now the only thing that is hilarious is how real gamers think the making of this game was about disrespecting (when it was more about respecting people who werent them).

        • If the devs were making a game not for gamers but for “mobile gamers”, then why did they announce the game at Blizzcon in a room full of their dedicated fans?

    • “You cant complain about shitty microtransactions because they work, I am very smart” – Blakeavon

      Yet again proving when there is almost unanimous disgust against something you’ll find some way to be a contrarian. Id guess you even supported blizzard in the Blitzchung situation.

      • There’s a reason I start ignoring people like that. Incessant drivel purely just to disagree at every turn isn’t genuine discussion, debate or even argument… It’s still just drivel.

        And apparently the only joy they get from life when you see just how incredibly often they do it to the expense of everything else. Especially when you see the pattern of behaviour and that it’s not a case of someone simply ‘disagreeing with the majority’ when they handle it how they always tend to.

        • You do realise you and Mr Bear also have patterns of behaviour here, don’t you?! So spare me your indignation. You have both done that same at many times.

        • Hard Disagree sorry. Even if i more often than not disagree with Blakeavon. I still wish to engage in discussion with them. Shutting off anyone who disagrees with you is intellectually bad.

          I want to engage with people who disagree with me. I want to be exposed to viewpoints i may agree or disagree with.

      • Hardly a contrarian, but a realist and an adult who is sick of the same old whining, and cycle of discontentment. How is any of this the least bit surprising? blizzard supporting loot boxes, a mobile game being terrible and exploitative, right through to people not even playing the exploiting a REVIEW system to not review the game but to use it as a platform for tiresome revolutionary gamer outrage. All of this could have copy and pasted from every other time it has happens this year, Last year and every time blizzard has failed in the same time.

        How can anyone be surprised by any of it, blizzard is not going to change, so it’s a much better use of my time by simply note supporting them. It’s not agreeing with them it is simply about refusing to jump on the gamer outrage of the week, every week they are the ultimate in first world problems.

    • Nah, screw that noise.
      We lock up drug dealers for dealing smack to people.
      We regulate casino’s to try and prevent them destroying peoples lives.

      We shouldn’t all just sit back and go “Eh, whatcha gonna do! MONEY GOTA BE MADE RIGHT?!”

      There are CHILDREN playing these games man. The next generation deserves better than this. There’s a good reason we don’t let children gamble in casinos.

  • I was willing to give cheng the benefit of the doubt when the game was initially announced because i figured these decisions were not made by him. But thats gone now he is actively defending the predatory and utter dog shit MTX.

    You are a disgrace Wyatt Cheng.

  • I’ve found alot of the info on MTX for me was misinformation
    When i got in the game and started working out how systems worked haven’t had too many issues.

    Playing the game, upgrading and progressing fine.
    Haven’t hit the end game, but considering the huge hours to hit any Diablo endgame, not surprised.

  • Worth considering that a Diablo game launching with an endgame in a messy state is hardly anything new (see: Diablo 3), but I’m genuinely curious how much can really be done to salvage the way that Immortal’s monetisation works at this late stage. Even w/o the specific issues around Crests, I don’t think the loot system is quite delivering the dopamine you would hope it would.

    As someone who plays a lot of mobile games, I don’t mind spending a little money here and there. That said, Immortal’s monetisation comes across as really off-putting in just how aggressive/confusing it is. The fact that this game makes the microtransactions in Hearthstone and Overwatch come across as more honest is…not good.

  • Complains about misinformation.
    Provides no factual information.
    Can’t expect much from that shithole.
    Enjoy your lawsuits.

  • I’d say Blizzard are burning bridges with this, but they’ve already burned the bridges. Now they’re nuking the ashes.

    I’m all for paying for a game and I don’t even think micro-transactions are inherently evil. But in this case they certainly seem to be. A lot of the fun in Diablo is seeing the loot fountain out of a defeated boss like a golden shower… Well Diablo Immortal wants to deliver a different type of golden shower to the fans.

    Having watched some of the streamer videos where they compare non-boosted (ie: free) runs with boosted (ie: paid) ones the difference is stark. It’s like the difference between Diablo 3 easy mode loot versus loot drops in Torment 13 difficulty.

    Frankly, if they’re going to be blatant about players buying power then they need to cap how much can be bought. If a regular player is expected to get X drops in a month then the whales can’t buy more than that. Keep the playing field a little bit more level. And at the same time cap just how much can be spent.

  • The game is not designed for most players, it’s designed for the 2% of players, the whales, who will spend a lot of money on it.

    So if the game is designed for 2% of players… why are they surprised the user review score is less than 5%.

    • Whales only spend money when there’s something pushing them. Usually having someone to either chase, or show off too.

      These free to play games need other players to remain active enough to motivate whales to actually spend.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!