Seems like Diablo: Immortal is off to record success, despite the doom and gloom.
The mobile version of Diablo Immortal from Blizzard has surpassed $100 million in global player spending across the App Store and Google Play in less than two months since its launch on June 1, 2022, Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data reveals.
The title has become one of the fastest video game IPs brought to mobile to hit the landmark, taking just eight weeks to reach the milestone. Analyzing other top franchises, Sensor Tower’s IP tags show that Pokémon GO from Niantic took approximately two weeks to reach the landmark figure, while the next fastest after Diablo Immortal, Fire Emblem Heroes from Nintendo, took 10 weeks.
And these numbers don’t include China, the undisputed biggest market for these types of games. Diablo only just recently launched in China a few days ago, and it seems to be breaking records over there, as well. Below is from the same article:
On July 25, 2022, Diablo Immortal was published in China by NetEase, and the country has quickly proven to be a strong market for the game. During its first two days of release, Diablo Immortal ranked as the No. 1 most downloaded app across all categories on the Apple App Store in the country. On launch day, it ranked as the No. 3 top grossing game on the marketplace, while on July 26 it ranked No. 2, above PUBG Mobile from Tencent–localized as Game For Peace in China–and below Honor of Kings, also from Tencent, at No. 1.
Diablo: Immortal is known to be one of the most polished and amazing mobile gaming experiences ever, yet it’s stained and tarnished by it’s very predatory microtransactions. Microsoft has the easiest road to goodwill ahead if, once the acquisition is complete, they make a statement about reform/change and start with changing the games systems while still keeping the game profitable (after kicking Kotick out, of course).
This would be really cool. I don’t have any particular affinity for Diablo, but by all accounts Immortal is a great game being weighed down by something unpleasant. I’d definitely give it a try if it were less gross.
I doubt the loot boxes are going away, as they didn’t get rid of them in ESO. There will likely be a new system added to the game for advancement/earning whatever the loot boxes give for people that don’t want to pay for it.
Mobile gaming isn’t the place to build goodwill. Publishers want in mobile gaming because it’s a wild west with crazy margins where they can do whatever. Build goodwill with the main/core offerings like Diablo 4, Overwatch 2, WoW, and get Blizzard overall back to its glory days.
Well, the game itself is a amazing game and very fun to play. So, people do get hooked on the game. And many y9oung people do not play on consoles or pc but only know video game on their phone. To them the cash shop P2W model is the norm for them. Asia, India and most of Africa mobile games are the main form of gamming. console and pc gaming are not as big as mobile either overall. And as Us older gamer stop playing video the less the gaming companies going to target us. Including Microsoft
I feel like this is probably one of the easier ways to garner a lot of positive attention. There’s a lot of unease about Microsoft being a major player again, and something as simple as softening this monetization - not even removing it outright mind you - would go a long way.
If you’re coming from the perspective of “giant shitty Microsoft is taking things away from me”, then the rehabilitation of an apparently good game would be a really easy way to gain some positive press.
It’s the same thing as with all acquisitions: people tend to focus on what they gain/lose right away. That’s what’s responsible for 99.5% of all acquisition-related angst, regardless of people claiming they’re worried about the health of the industry. Some folks do have genuine concerns, but by and large that’s mostly used as a hypocritical justification.
It’s much more important that Microsoft provide a safe, welcoming place for their employees… but that doesn’t get the attention of the public like it should.
It’s a credit to Microsoft that they are willing to give their studios a lot of slack creatively… but that hasn’t borne out in terms of exclusive releases just yet.
Them just swooping in and fixing what’s widely regarded as predatory practices would be both immediate and substantive, and would allay some fears I think.
As for whether that’s “worth it” financially, I can’t possibly weigh in on that. $100 million is an almost impossibly large sum for me to grasp, but I wonder if it would be worth it to only get, say, half of that and instead improve their reputation and fix up the image of one of their big new IPs. I don’t have any opinion about Diablo, but I wouldn’t be surprised if these microtransaction shenanigans hadn’t taken some of the luster off of the name.
(When I say reputation, I don’t just mean message board dwellers, by the way. I’m talking about the average casual consumer who might have reservations about trying out Xcloud on their TV and whatever government apparatus might have an impact on future affairs.)
I don’t buy it. People have short memories - you can give them free games whole week and month later they will blame you for incorrect text or something minor on Twitter.
These folks don’t even care about monetization in Diablo. A lot of people play on mobile where the monetization is accepted. Hell, people spend thousands of dollars in Ultimate Team and don’t even care about the lootboxes much too.
I always hear about Microsoft needing to get the goodwill but all the time I see Microsoft being blamed for something. Goodwill, fixing monetization etc. does not change much. Microsoft just need to produce a lot of good games that gain the mainstream popularity across the communities. Sony is able to get away with all of their egregious actions and nobody is asking them to get any goodwill. Why? Because even if GT7 monetization is bad, they will release GoW and nobody cares.
It’s not about winning over individual Twitter users, it’s about changing perception on a grander scale, even subconsciously. Microsoft had the reputation of being monolithic and merciless, and rightfully so. It’s a hard image to shake off.
I’m talking about degrees here. I haven’t experienced it myself but literally every single bit of news I’ve heard about Diablo included the fact that the microtransactions were egregious. Just because you’re used to games bugging you for money doesn’t mean you can’t get sick of it happening too often/for too much money.
That’s what I think they should do. If you see ten articles saying “Diablo Immortal is greedy” that sticks in your mind. If you see one article after that that says “Diablo Immortal is less greedy now that MS bought it” that will affect your perception.
You missed the point I made earlier:
Producing a lot of good games, especially exclusives, would be the best thing to do, yes. But we’re not there yet. Earning goodwill by doing consumer and employee-friendly things are great things, yes, but they don’t make a huge splash. This would be a quick and effective way of communicating “this isn’t how we do things at Microsoft, and you can expect us to treat beloved IPs we acquire well”
And again, this is just one of many things that they could/should be doing. Whether you think it’s fair or not, MS have a lot of negative perception to overcome, and continually making positive changes adds up. When I heard that they were going in on BC, I thought it was cool but still didn’t see any way I’d get an Xbox after how much I disliked the Xbox One reveal. Then I kept hearing about other good things, and that swayed me enough that I’m now making giant posts on xboxera.com. I’m very clearly passionate about this sort of thing, and it still took a lot of individual positive things about the ecosystem to make me willing to shake off my preconceptions.
And negative perception adds up too. Sony are going in the opposite direction, largely, and making many consumer-unfriendly moves. Look at the threads on ResetEra where the gross GT7 stuff was discussed, or in the comments of articles about it. There’s a lot of frustrated posts by people who are put off by their actions. Because it’s an indicator of where they’re going and how they intend to treat their customers. GT7 doesn’t matter to me since I don’t care about racing games, but you had better believe I followed that fiasco because it reflects on the brand and the IP as a whole.
I’m not saying that Sony increasing MSRP to $70 a game, and doing lame upgrade fees, and being gross about GT7, and so on means that people won’t want to play God of War Ragnarok. But it does have a cumulative effect, especially when their competitor are doing right by the consumer in comparison. It could lead people to re-evaluating what they thought was obvious “PlayStation is where I play my games” and maybe thinking “I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about Xbox lately, maybe I should look into that as a supplementary system”
Here’s my understanding: at the end of the day, if MS are intent on increasing their market share, they need to improve in a lot of areas. Having the most affordable next-gen console, having the most powerful* console, having a robust ecosystem that plays nicely with PC and cloud, having a great subscription service, having strong IPs that they steward well, and yes having great games. Nobody cares about all of those at once, but they need to cast a wide net.
(*not into hardware enough to say this definitively, please don’t waste your time trying to convince me)
And you know what? I’m really glad that they have so much ground to make up. They have to work super hard to win trust, and that’s great for me as a consumer. That’s all that should matter.
I feel like you aren’t really engaging with the full text of my posts, where I addressed some of the things you say. It isn’t very conducive to a discussion if you mostly respond with “No it isn’t” either. I spent a lot of time thinking and typing up that post, it would be cool if your replies had a bit more substance in kind.
Here we go:
I disagree, the fact that Apple were able to so effectively market themselves as the counter-culture cool alternative to rigid, callous MS speaks volumes. To say nothing of the Antitrust stuff.
That’s not the point I’m making, what you say isn’t necessarily true, and even if it were, it’s not indicative of anything.
Microsoft has always had issues with mass consumer market simply because they have been B2B company most of the time. And early 2000s were dark ages for Microsoft - it was even written somewhere in some book - that Microsoft missed the whole search and mobile market due to being afraid to make any moves due to regulators or something along these lines.
Because despite having long posts they are effectively can be simplified to “I see them doing some good things for Xbox and their ecosystem so more people will come to the platform”, which I don’t really agree with simply because despite 70$, lack of cloud save, always trying to dupe their people Sony is not becoming less popular - simply because they produce a lot of critically acclaimed games (and another half is good damn marketing).
Switch sells a ton yet they have only recently discovered the Internet Features allow you to stay in the ecosystem, but games are what bring people to the platform.
It’s about building an image, one that Microsoft has been slowly building since Phil had started turning the ship around last gen. I understand your point in your subsequent posts that Microsoft gets lambasted more frequently for small things while Sony can do some incredibly anti-consumer shit and nobody seems to care or call them out. I get it. But I don’t agree with the direction you’re taking this subject. Microsoft shouldn’t just stop, especially when that ship they’ve turned around is about to go full power ahead in the near future. They should continue the course.
Obviously being good is fine, I don’t tell Microsoft stopping doing that - I am just saying that this goodwill is not important, but good games are. So I don’t expect them drastically changing monetization just to gain the good will of … whom actually? Media will find what to blame Microsoft for again and mobile market is literally Pay 2 Win quite often, so they won’t gain anything there either.