Diablo Immortal Aggressive Microtransaction Reform

Diablo Immortal Aggressive Microtransaction Reform

June 9, 2022
Signatures: 521Next Goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Ben Palladino

In 2018 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. and NetEase, Inc. announced Diablo Immortal in late 2018. (Source: Diablo Immortal 2018 Announcement)

Diablo Immortal was officially launched on mobile devices along with a PC beta on June 2, 2022. (Source: Diablo Immortal 2022 Release Date Confirmed)

Diablo Immortal had a very controversial announcement as reported by various news outlets and the overwhelming disappointment by fans.

(Source: Diablo Immortal Controversy as Reported by Polygon)

(Source: Diablo Immortal Controversy as Reported by Forbes)

(Source: Diablo Immortal Controversy as Reported by Destructoid)

Since the release of Diablo Immortal, players have discovered the enormous amount of microtransactions in the game.

Microtransactions in mobile games are purchase players can make in-game to unlock additional features, advantages, ad removal, and more. 

And although Diablo Immortal does not display ads or have brand endorsements, it does have an aggressive microtransaction system including a subscription service, multiple battle passes, and one time purchases.

A battle pass is a common term used in video games that is a paid one time purchase that unlocks many in-game rewards as a player progresses in the game, or their character.

Diablo Immortal has incorporated many tactics into manipulating or forcing it's players to purchase microtransactions to continue upgrading their character for the activities present in the game.

Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase made announcements early on about how equipment or gear for your in-game character would not be monetized with microtransactions. This means there would be no advantages for a player that is willing to spend money over a player who chooses to play the game without spending money. This is often called a pay-to-win system which means if a player spends money, they have an advantage over other players. 

Equipment and gear in Diablo Immortal can be upgraded with gems, an item that you can socket into a players gear or equipment to increase their attributes, making you a more powerful player.

These gems can be acquired in two ways; finishing rifts or purchasing them on an in-game marketplace using Platinum.

Platinum is one of the few in-game currencies that players spend real money on in order to acquire. Very little currency is given to players in-game free of charge and is usually just enough to almost afford an in-game item as a way to manipulate players into purchasing more with real money.

The second way to acquire gems is by using Crests and Legendary Crests, both often requiring a purchase with real world money. There are ways to obtain a limited amount of Crests in the game for free, but it is very minor. One free regular Crest is give to a player each day.

A Crest or Legendary Crest are ways to improve the rewards obtained by players that finish an Elder Rift, a re-playable dungeon players can complete for rewards. This is one of the very few ways a player can obtain gems required for upgrading their gear.

The game is designed in a way that when a player gets to a certain level typically 60+, that gems are the only real way of increasing their equipment or gear. This is imperative if players want to continue playing the game. Otherwise, their in-game character will die very easily making many activities in the game unplayable. 

For a player to find Gems or Legendary Gems, they are required to use Crests or Legendary Crests in order to have a chance at finding them.

The chances for finding the sought after Legendary Gems players need to upgrade their equipment or gear is as follows:

1 - Star Legendary Gem - 75% Chance

2 - Star Legendary Gem - 20% Chance

2/5 - Star Legendary Gem - 3.75% Chance

3/5 - Star Legendary Gem - 1% Chance

4/5 - Star Legendary Gem - .2% Chance

5/5 - Star Legendary Gem - .05% Chance

The first two Legendary Gems on the list above are very common because they are of no use to higher level characters. The chances start at 3.75% for a player to obtain a Legendary Gem that is useful to their character.

To explain things simply a player must buy Legendary Crests for a chance at finding a Legendary Gem.

(Source: Gem Probability As Reported By tweaktown.com)

A reliable source that has been reporting on video games for years says, "We’ve done the math, and acquiring one copy of all 5-Star Legendary Gems, agnostic of their individual stars counts, will require hundreds of combined Legendary Crests and random gem crafts. Acquiring all 5-Star Legendary Gems with all 5 stars filled is improbable to the point of being functionally impossible."

Later stating "The “perfect” full 5-star build is certainly enticing, but no amount of time or money will realistically get you there."

(Source: Gem Probability As Reported By rockpapershotgun.com)

A Twitch streamer known as Quin69 spent over $4,000 in Diablo Immortal trying to obtain a 5-Star Legendary Gem. 5-Start Legendary Gems are the only way to max out one piece of a player's equipment or gear.

(Source: Twitch Streamer Spends Over $4,000)

With the information above, it is clear that Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase Games has incorporated a gambling system into their microtransactions.

The current age rating (As of June 9th, 2022) according to the Diablo Immortal iOS and Android mobile marketplaces such as the App Store and Google Play is 17+ years or older.

The specific Age Rating details are as follows.

Apple's App Store:

Age Rating17+

Frequent/Intense Horror/Fear Themes

Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence

Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content and Nudity

Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes

Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor

(Source: Diablo Immortal App Store Listing)

Google Play Store:

Mature 17+
Violence, Blood and Gore
Users Interact, In-Game Purchases

(Source: Diablo Immortal Google Play Store Listing)

In neither listing does it state there is gambling. There are in-game purchases as mentioned in both listing, but neither state gambling. Which would make this game an Adults Only or 18+ rating by the ESRB.

(Source: ESRP Ratings)

Based on many various reports, it would cost a player roughly $100,000 to max out one of their in-game characters. Not all characters, just one. So if a player wanted to max out two in-game characters it would take roughly $200,000.

Blizzard Entertainment and Netease Games get away with gambling in game because you are guaranteed a few items that are very minimal in value. You are guaranteed some in-game currency and a few runes, both of which are used to upgrade another in-game item known as Charms. Nevertheless, this is gambling.

NBA 2K22 a basketball video game developed by 2K Games lost a 5-Million dollar lawsuit due to encouraging players to spend money on virtual currency in order to stay competitive in the multiplayer scene.

(Source: NBA 2K22 5-Million Dollar Lawsuit)

These are the same tactics Blizzard Entertainment and Netease Games are using in their game Diablo Immortal.

Players need Legendary Gems and the only way to get them is to gamble using Legendary Crests and hope for one, through aggressive microtransactions that result in gambling with very minimal chances.

And even after collecting the highest level Legendary Gem in the game, players are REQUIRED to purchase an upgrade for $24.99. There is no other way of upgrading the in-game item without doing so.

This petition is to for Blizzard Entertainment and Netease Games to make their game fair and free of any player manipulation and almost forced in-game purchases which includes gambling.

It is very disappointing that such a fun game is ruined by the required monetization Blizzard Entertainment and Netease Games has put into place and they should be ashamed.

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Signatures: 521Next Goal: 1,000
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