Diablo Immortal is proof that there's money to be made in hell. Though NetEase and Blizzard are insistent that the "vast majority" of players aren't spending money in the game, it appears the ones that are have some deep pockets indeed.
Though fans have been particularly vocal about the number of microtransactions and the cumulative cost of fully upgrading a character, those that don't mind the expense are bank-rolling the game to some degree.
New data from mobile analytics company Sensor Tower notes that Diablo Immortal's first eight weeks on the (digital) shelves has seen the game take a massive $100 million in player money. That sounds like a lot – and, indeed it is! – but when it comes to mobile games, it still pales in comparison to Pokemon Go, which hit the $100m mark in just 14 days. The less popular, but still notable, Fire Emblem Heroes took 10 weeks to get to that benchmark (thanks, Eurogamer).
Given that Diablo Immortal reportedly skipped release in the Netherlands and Belgium due to tightening loot box regulation in EU member states, it's even more impressive that the game has managed to harvest this much player money in such a short time.
Why could this game be so successful when it comes to microstransactions? Well, per principal game designer Joe Grubb, it's because the key in-game content is not gated behind paywalls. "You can do everything in Diablo Immortal completely for free," he told us in a recent interview. "That includes the main storyline, the dungeons, the helliquary raid, the in-game cycle of strife."
"Part of that comes from our philosophy of never circumventing core gameplay, and optional purchases are always a bonus."
You can read our interview with Grubb and franchise general manager Rod Fergusson at the link: we talk about microtransactions, porting Diablo to the mobile platform, and other tastier topics, too.
Diablo Immortal is available now for iOS, Android, and PC. Check out our best starting class guide for solo and PvP, if you need help navigating the game's potentially complicated mechanics. If you are trying to decide which faction to choose, we outline the benefits of Shadows and Immortals here..