The Blizzard Controversy Diablo Immortal launched to large numbers and high income. It has also sparked an ongoing debate about in-game purchases, digital gambling, free mobile games and addiction. The huge publisher remained silent amid negative headlines and criticism. But in a new interview, Blizzard boss Mike Ybarra defended the game’s launch and its controversial monetization, citing high App Store reviews to say most gamers are enjoying the game.
In yesterday’s in-depth interview with Los Angeles TimeBlizzard President Mike Ybarra addressed many topics, including the many issues Blizzard faces as it navigates the fallout from last year’s explosive lawsuit by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the consequences that followed. deluge of harassment and discrimination lawsuits against Activision Blizzard.
He also talked about the company’s newest game, the free-to-play mobile action-RPG spin-off Diablo Immortal. While many criticized the game’s in-app purchases, low drop rates, and possibly exploit mechanics, Ybarra defended the game, saying Blizzard built it so players could “literally do 99.5% of all in game “for free while getting a full”Diablo live.”
“Monetization happens at the end of the game,” Ybarra told the outlet. “The philosophy has always been to lead with great gameplay and make sure that hundreds of millions of people can go through the whole campaign without any cost. From that perspective, I feel really good about this as an intro at Diablo.”
Ybarra also told the Los Angeles Time that he and others at the company are well aware of online complaints and concerns. But he still defended the mobile ARPG by pointing towards its high rating on the Apple App Storethe implication apparently being that the wider community of people playing Immortal don’t have a problem with the game or its in-app purchases.
According to Los Angeles Times, Blizzard explained in a follow-up email that the “vast majority” of players aren’t spending money in-game, but wouldn’t share any specific details. Ybarra seems to suggest this is a feature and not a bug, but let’s be clear: if this game ever stops racking up millions of dollars, Blizzard is unlikely to keep it short of goodness. from his heart.
Of course, while many gamers (myself included) continue to play and have fun Diablo Immortal, it is undeniable that it is possible to put a lot of money in it if you want to reach the top of the leaderboards and/or max out your character’s gear or stats. Blizzard doesn’t seem to have created any real safeguards to save people from sink thousands of dollars in gambling to get high rank gems, and with the game’s abyssal drop rates, this can become a dangerous situation for those unable to control themselves.
From what Ybarra said, and how much money Immortal brings dailyit seems highly unlikely that the game will be changed anytime soon to address player concerns about it and its economy.
Many players are now worried about what to expect from the series’ grand entry next year, Diablo IV. According to Blizzard, it won’t be like Immortal and will only include “cosmetic” microtransactionsbut even that may seem too much to some observers.
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