- Diablo 4’s launch was successful, but flaws started to emerge, particularly related to the endgame grind and monetization issues with microtransactions.
- The prices for Diablo 4’s microtransactions, especially cosmetics, are incredibly high, even by industry standards, and players may feel robbed if prices are lowered in the future.
- It is likely that Blizzard will keep the prices for microtransactions the same, potentially offering discounts during holidays, but there is no definitive solution to satisfy both players and the company.
While Diablo 4‘s launch (both in early access and full launch) was a smashing success, many of the game’s flaws started to emerge as players spent more time in Sanctuary, be it related to the endgame grind or other gameplay features. Season 1 was the biggest debacle for Blizzard’s newest live-service title, as it highlighted not only all the previous issues with Diablo 4‘s gameplay experience, but also came with glaring problems tied to monetization – something players noticed from the get-go. The first season pass for Diablo 4 was disappointing, to put it lightly, but while Season of Blood and future releases can improve upon it, Blizzard is stuck with the rest of the microtransaction shop.
Microtransactions are quite normalized in the live-service landscape, but Diablo 4 was Blizzard’s attempt to win back fans and come out of the woods after the multiple controversies regarding Diablo Immortal‘s in-game purchases. Even though Diablo 4 is not pay-to-win, the same predatory policy carried over from its mobile predecessor, but this time they were translated into incredibly high prices for cosmetics, even by the industry’s standards. Players were asked $25 or even more for a single armor set, with it only applying to one specific class rather than all of them, and things got even worse.
Diablo 4’s Cosmetic Microtransactions Highlight a Big Problem for Blizzard
A recent Diablo 4 bundle for a $65 horse mount came out, and although players do receive Platinum to purchase more armor sets and cosmetics from the microtransaction store, it’s still a bad-looking choice to gate a mount behind a pricey paywall. This wasn’t received well by some players, but the main issue is that instead of lowering the overall prices for future microtransactions, Blizzard seems to want to up the ante, making even more pricey bundles and cosmetics for the game rather than backing down.
This is going to be an even bigger problem further down the line, as Diablo 4 microtransaction prices will likely remain on the same standard set by Blizzard so far. Even if the company decides it may be best to lower prices with the launch of Diablo 4 Vessel of Hatred expansion, it poses another issue in the form of player compensation. Dedicated fans who have already purchased some of the game’s extremely pricey microtransactions could feel robbed if Blizzard decided to make them cheaper further down the line, but not doing anything about it is also not a great solution.
Fans who have already purchased some of the game’s extremely pricey microtransactions could feel robbed if Blizzard decided to make them cheaper further down the line.
Why Diablo 4’s Shop Prices Will Likely Stay the Same
Leaving prices as they are sends the message that Blizzard is happy with its prices, which is quite different from the community’s sentiment about them, hence why it would make sense for the studio to eventually lower them. A possible middle ground would be to just lower the prices of future microtransactions, but it would still run the risk of upsetting those who have spent money on Diablo 4‘s cosmetics in the meantime. On the other hand, a mass refund of the difference in price seems extremely unlikely, if not also quite difficult to achieve technically speaking.
What follows is that the most likely outcome is for Blizzard to leave prices as they are, maybe only offering Platinum at discounted rates during the holidays, but that too could prove counter-productive for the company, since players may wait for sales to purchase anything. The fact that there is no definitive solution to this problem may mean nothing will change with Diablo 4‘s future seasons and expansions, but it could be a valuable lesson for Blizzard to learn when it comes to the development of its next game – even Diablo 5.
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- PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S
- June 6, 2023
- Action RPG, Hack and Slash
- Platforms That Support Crossplay
- PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S
- Split Screen Orientation
- N/A (Shared Screen)
- Number of Players
- PS Plus Availability