When Diablo Immortal launched on mobile and PC last week, it did so with some truly rancorous levels of microtransaction nonsense, but perhaps most blew it off as gamers being gamers. However, there appears to be some evidence to back up the bluster as some people have crunched the numbers for getting to the best in slot, and those numbers do not look good.
YouTuber Bellular broke down the ARPG’s late-game monetization, focusing on legendary gems, which for those who are unfamiliar are the vehicle that lets players move forward in endgame-tier progression.
In order to get these gems, players enter an Elder Rift, put in a crest (aka a lootbox), and get a chance at a gem when opening said lootbox, which can only be done after clearing an Elder Rift dungeon. These crests come in rare and legendary varieties, with the former offering a small percentage chance at a gem and a legendary guaranteeing a gem but not guaranteeing it’s a five-star – the highest rank possible. Even then, a gem with a maximum five-star rank could only be rank two out of five, meaning other gems with a max five-star rank have to be earned in order to combine gems and reach their full potential.
According to a breakdown read out in the video, most free players only see up to three legendary crests a month, but they can be bought for 160 Orbs. On top of that, lootbox bundles can be bought in packs of 45 for $100, but a “pity” system that guarantees a high-tier gem only works after 50 lootboxes are opened. Finally, there were additional systems in the game’s beta that required players spend money in order to “awaken” gear for better stats via a resonance system. All told, it estimates to around $110K in order to fully kit a character out in the best gear possible.
We do note here that there is a crafting system to create five-star gems, but that system is reportedly an expensive proposition and is drip-fed with backup resources, while the awakening system’s real-money cost requirement is not fully confirmed as of yet, as most players have yet to hit a point where that system applies. Even so, if the video below is to be believed, Diablo Immortal could stand to be one of the most predatory mobile games on the market today.
As of right now, Blizzard has yet to address the matter of its monetization formally, although Blizzard’s Wyatt Cheng did tweet to clarify that the parts that require real-money are gems rather than gear itself.
Not being able to buy gear (the 12 slots) or XP remains important to the team. For what it’s worth I appreciate you checking out the game. I look forward to your PoE content and guides which I’ve always enjoyed.
— Wyatt Cheng (@candlesan) June 4, 2022
The current focus is on hotfixing the PC version’s open beta and having a cosmetic crossover with other games under its umbrella.