Diablo IV To Include In-Game Cosmetic Microtransactions, According to Lead Game Designer Joe Shely

Diablo IV To Include In-Game Cosmetic Microtransactions, According to Lead Game Designer Joe Shely
Credit: YouTube via IGN

In a conversation with streamer Quin69, Diablo IV’s lead game designer Joe Shely confirmed that the game will include microtransactions.

In response to Quin69 asking if there would be subscriptions/microtransactions or just a base game, Shely answered thusly: “Diablo IV will be available as a base game, and we’re going to have expansions. You also will be able to acquire cosmetics in the game.”

The addition of microtransactions to Blizzard games isn’t only far from new – it’s expected. At this point, there are almost no major Blizzard games without them; Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and Diablo III all have them to some degree. At the moment, Starcraft is the only game that doesn’t feature them.

Ironically, Diablo III features them the least out of the rest of the game. The only notable DLC is the Necromancer class/cosmetic pack and the Reaper of Souls expansion and deluxe edition. Compared to the loot crate systems that Hearthstone and Overwatch feature, as well as the multiple pages of cosmetic gear purchasable in the WoW shop, Diablo’s microtransactions are decidedly minor.

The microtransactions that are to be featured in Diablo IV seem to be wholly cosmetic. That means that the only incentive to spend the extra money on the game comes from those who want some cosmetic fun that won’t affect gameplay at all. Shely explicitly says that the microtransactions won’t affect Power, effectively meaning that the game won’t have any sort of pay-to-win mechanics from these microtransactions.

In the earliest days of Diablo III, the game included an auction house that players could spend real money on to purchase games. It was removed within a short period of time due to exploits and real-world gambling taking place, as well as a myriad of other reasons. Since then, microtransactions have been significantly muted in the Diablo franchise.

Some may think the influence of Activision is being forced onto the game. The company has a well-earned reputation for doing whatever they can to squeeze out as much money from a game. Many Blizzard fans point to the acquisition and creation of Activision-Blizzard as when the games began to go downhill and focus on being a cash cow.

Whatever role the microtransactions are going to play, it seems so far like they’ll have no ffect on the actual gameplay or difficulty of the game. At the end of the day, if a microtransaction means you get to slaughter demons with butterfly wings, what harm is there?