Despite widespread criticism of its microtransaction strategy, Diablo Immortal is still making a ton of money. Blizzard’s latest mobile game has raked in $US24 million ($AU34.6 million) in its first two weeks since launch.
As reported by PCGamesN, industry tracking website AppMagic is showing Diablo Immortal downloads have topped 5 million since June 2. This makes it Blizzard’s second-highest earner on mobile, outstripped only by CCG Hearthstone.
The US and South Korea top the list of countries pouring money into the game, with the US accounting for a whopping 43% of all transactions. South Korea follows in second place with a 23% contribution. Japan, Germany, and Canada make up the remainder of the top 5. That Diablo Immortal‘s microtransactions are generating quite this much revenue in North America and Europe is something of a surprise. Diablo Immortal is famously geared toward Asian markets, where similar mobile games are wildly popular. That massive market potential is why Blizzard partnered with Chinese developer NetEase on the game — its popular and lucrative mobile Diablo clone Crusaders of Light caught Blizzard’s eye.
One wonders what percentage of Diablo Immortal‘s US take is made up of streamers and content creators trying to map the game’s item drop rates. Players like NZ streamer Quin69 have dropped vast sums of money on the game in hopes of an ultra-rare five-star Legendary Gem.
Diablo Immortal has been under fire for its microtransactions since its launch two weeks ago. Players, even those in Kotaku AU‘s comments, feel that tying the game’s real-money transactions to character power is a pay-to-win scenario. This, they feel, is antithetical to the traditional Diablo loop of growing character power by grinding end-game bosses for high-end loot and rune words. Players have been so mightily unhappy with the game that they drove the game’s Metacritic user score to an all-time low.