Blizzard Entertainment’s Mike Ybarra has defended the implementation of microtransactions in the controversial PC and mobile title, Diablo Immortal.
Since rolling out the title in early June, Blizzard has come under fire for Diablo Immortal’s aggressive in-game monetization. Such discourse seems to matter little in the grand scheme of things, however.
After all, the RPG raked in a staggering $24 million in revenue after only two weeks on the market. And a recent report claims Blizzard earns $1 million per day from the latest Diablo experience alone.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the publisher stands by its decision to heavily monetize Diablo Immortal.
Blizzard CEO addresses Diablo Immortal’s microtransactions controversy
Speaking with Los Angeles Times, Blizzard Entertainment CEO Mike Ybarra addressed the monetization controversy plaguing Diablo Immortal.
Though many a player feels microtransactions err on the side of pay-to-win mechanics, Ybarra and Blizzard seem to diminish their significance to the average user.
The executive said that internally high-level discussions regarding monetization followed this line of thought: “How do we give a free Diablo experience to hundreds of millions of people, where they can literally do 99.5% of everything in the game?”
He went on to say “monetization comes in at the endgame,” a decision informed by the team’s desire to ensure millions of players can experience Diablo Immortal without spending a dime. “From that standpoint, I feel really good about it as an introduction to Diablo,” Ybarra concluded.
A Blizzard representative told the LA Times in a follow-up email the lion’s share of Diablo Immortal users has yet to spend money in-game. Apparently, the spokesperson wouldn’t disclose specific numbers when pressed further.
If the staggering amount of revenue Blizzard is raking in didn’t serve as proof enough, it seems clear that egregious microtransactions will remain the norm for Diablo Immortal for a long time to come.