Technology

‘Diablo Immortal’ Has Made $24 Million In Two Weeks Because Of Course It Has

It may be pay-to-win, but many players, indeed, are paying. New mobile estimates from AppMagic seem to indicate that Diablo Immortal has earned at least $24 million from its microtransactions during its two weeks since launch, despite pushback from fans about the monetization in the game.

While we don’t know how much of that is split between less-controversial cosmetics and battle passes, and legendary gem-filled dungeon loot boxes with the crest system, it’s somewhat easy to imagine which is the bulk of the revenue.

And before you say, “well, this was always going to be a hit in Asia,” where gacha and pay-to-win mobile games are much more popular and accepted, well, the data also shows that 43% of the spending was done in the US, a plurality, where 23% was done in South Korea and 8% was done in Japan. Add in 9% from Germany and Canada combined and yes, Diablo Immortal is making this money off mostly western countries so far, including the US, where players have been complaining the loudest.

Putting that $24 million in context is important, however. Is that a lot? It sounds like a lot. I mean, it is, and yet right now we are still far outside the ongoing, top-earning mobile games in the industry.

Sensor Tower estimates that Honor of Kings made $268 million in a month of player spending in May 2022. PUBG Mobile made $206 million. Genshin Impact made $99.7 million, which is actually its second lowest month ever. So double Diablo Immortal’s two-week spending for a monthlong estimate, and it’s still falling outside the range of the big guns. The real question is if Diablo Immortal is rewarding these players enough who have spent money initially to the point where they’ll keep coming back and keep playing. I’ve argued before that return on “investment” for spending in Diablo Immortal is far, far below other games, as evidenced by the streamer who spent upwards of $10,000 without receiving a 5 star gem from the gacha system, but we’ll have to see.

Blizzard has already committed to the notion that Diablo 4 will not have the same kinds of microtransactions as Immortal, and will only have cosmetics. But it can be hard to parse what could be semantics from Blizzard, as Immortal’s game director Wyatt Cheng now famously said the game would not and does not sell “gear,” because the extremely powerful legendary gems with all the stats and abilities of gear are not technically “gear.” So who knows what loopholes could open up for Diablo 4.

It was always unlikely that Diablo Immortal would totally bomb, and even less so when it became clear the actual gameplay is…really quite fun. But despite this initial haul, it remains to be seen how it does in the long term, and if the fresh damage to Blizzard’s reputation is lasting, and worth the revenue that’s being made regardless.

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