Diablo Immortal–and its plentiful microtransactions–have been a hot topic since the game launched at the beginning of June. One Diablo Immortal fan designed a clever piece of fan art criticizing the unpopular ‘pay-to-win’ nature of the mobile game.
The art was shared by artist and Redditor Blueberry_404. The fan art depicts a female Demon Hunter–one of the playable classes in Diablo Immortal. The art itself is incredibly well done, as it captures the iconic Diablo-style while also making a poignant point.
Blueberry_404’s Demon Hunter is not wielding the dual hand crossbows typical in Diablo Immortal. Instead, she is holding a credit card and a gold coin. Text at the bottom of the art also spells out “Diablo Immoral,”–a clever play on Diablo Immortal’s title, and commentary on its business model, which is considered predatory by many. The text of the post accompanying Blueberry_404’s art claimed the Demon Hunter was wielding “the most powerful weapon in Diablo Immortal.”
However, not all Diablo Immortal players agree with that sentiment. Redditor Rwxwuxiaworld recently posted an in-depth analysis of the effect items and services available via microtransactions have on progression in Diablo Immortal. A mobile game veteran, Rwxwuxiaworld looked at how much Diablo Immortal’s microtransactions could actually strengthen characters, bypass challenges, or speed up the leveling and gearing process. He found that, with no way to directly buy gear or levels, many of the roadblocks which would make an actual pay-to-win scenario are not present in the game–the baffling grind walls and timegates are encountered by free to play and premium players alike. Rather than being the most powerful weapon in Diablo Immortal, he posited the microtransactions in Diablo Immortal were useless.
Regardless of one’s opinion, Diablo Immortal’s microtransaction system is its most unpopular aspect by far. Though the game is quite popular, its front-and-center microtransactions have led most to consider it a pointless and predatory mobile game. Some fans have even gone so far as to review bomb Diablo Immortal on Metacritic, the Google Play Store, and other platforms.
Blueberry_404’s meme was evocative, and prompted those who saw it to discuss the nature of microtransactions in gaming. Many gamers have become numb to the idea of microtransactions in games because they have become so prevalent. Though Blizzard has received flack for its microtransactions in Hearthstone in the past, the attention Diablo Immortal has drawn with its own has re-opened the conversation. With luck, the discourse and criticism surrounding a AAA title like Diablo Immortal will catch the eyes of game developers to avoid these systems in the future–including Blizzard itself with Warcraft Arclight Rumble, its in-development tower defense mobile game.
Diablo Immortal is out now for iOS and Android devices with a PC version in early access.