Blizzard Entertainment could find itself in hot water following word a law firm has launched an investigation into the company and its recent release, Diablo Immortal. When lawyers pay close attention to something with a big budget behind it, that’s a sure sign a hunt for settlement money has begun, and there are few targets more tempting than a lucrative release such as Diablo Immortal.
As early as November 2022, reports emerged to indicate Diablo Immortal has made over $300 million. That’s quite the milestone, especially since the game only launched in June. It effectively generated nearly as much in five months as some of its leading competition made in twice the time, thanks to extensive microtransactions that drive so many “free-to-play” games across the industry.
Attorneys at a firm known as Migliaccio & Rathod LLP have opened an investigation into whether Activision Blizzard misrepresented the effects of a particular gem players could purchase. Available separately and in bundles, the “Blessing of the Worthy” gem initially was described in-game as offering a 20% chance to deal damage to enemies that equaled 12% of the player’s maximum life. The issue arose from the fact it instead dealt damage equivalent to 12% of the player’s current life, rendering it considerably less effective in cases when the player had taken significant damage. Blizzard eventually updated the erroneous description, following player complaints, and issued a set of free gems as compensation. Still, the law firm seems has taken issue with this because monetary refunds were not issued. After all, Diablo Immortal inspired one player to spend $100,000 on the game (an expenditure that left that player unable to battle PvP opponents). The money is certainly there.
The firm has placed an online questionnaire on its site, seeking contact from players who may have a claim for false advertising, in the event they purchased and were impacted by the in-game item’s description. The company is unlikely to have difficulty finding people anxious to fill out that form, given the bitterness many players in the community felt following the game’s release and the realization that Diablo Immortal required over $500,000 to max out a character. That level of monetization tends to hurt both wallets and feelings.
Once Migliaccio & Rathod LLP has heard from enough respondents, it will better know how to proceed with possible legal action, which seems likely to take the form of a class action lawsuit. If so, that wouldn’t be the first time; Blizzard previously faced a potential lawsuit over Hearthstone card packs. Time will tell whether a similar threat properly materializes over Diablo Immortal‘s item description error, but from Blizzard’s perspective, things aren’t looking good.
Source: IGN (via Polygon)