In an attempt to protest Diablo: Immortal’s exorbitant microtransaction system, a streamer recently made a public display out of destroying one of the game’s coveted 5-star gems – though not before spending over $15,000 USD to acquire it in the first place.
Quin69 had been playing Diablo: Immortal since its June 2nd launch on PC and has ever since been been trying to acquire a 5-star gem for his gear.
To do so, he engaged with the game’s RNG rewards system, which in short requires players to spend various forms of resources – including those which can only be acquired with real world money – in order to upgrade temporary battle instances and subsequently increase the quality of their rewards. At a certain level, these rewards can include a chance at one of the aformentioned gems.
Further, in order for players to access certain endgame content or survive in the game’s PVP mode – particularly against ‘whales’ – they’ll need to ‘awaken’ their gear.
To achieve this, players must fuse a given piece of equipment with a max-rank gem (a separate rating from its star quality) in order to allow it to be socketed with other gems.
These systems are so tedious and predatory that it was previously calculated that fully awakening just one item could take up to $50,000, or a years worth of daily log-in bonuses.
Quin spent over two weeks attempting to acquire his 5-star gem, the entire time keeping a running total on how much he had spent on Eternal Orbs (the currency used to buy Legendary Crests, which are in turn used to improve the battle instances).
At one point after crossing the $10,335.51 NZD (over $6,500 USD) mark, Quinn entered into a sarcastic rant, which to suffice to say was justified, over how he could have spent the money on a car or tuition for a child, a tirade.
In light of this, when Quin finally acquired the 5-star gem on June 18th- and having spent $25,165.57 NZD (over $15,900 USD)- one would have expected to have been happy.
However, based on what he did next, it was clear that he was not.
Following this stroke of luck, Quin let out a scream of reprieve, delight, and frustrated rage, before immediately quiting the game and uninstalling it.
He then proceeded to tweet, “I can’t believe I just looted my first 5/5 [star] gem and it only cost me $25,165.57 NZD. Thanks @Blizzard_Ent @DiabloImmortal for this authentic diablo experience.”
Prior to publishing his post, Quin expressed hesitation at doing so, as he worried that his providing of negative feedback regarding his Diablo: Immortal experience could result in his disinvitation from any and all official Blizzard Entertainment events.
However, he ultimately dismissed these fears on the grounds that “there must be internal discussions about how dog-s–t this game is.”
Quin then re-installed the game purely to destroy the very Gem he had just spent weeks trying to obtain, fusing it into a 1-star gem to improve the latter’s rank – howling in almost faux agony straight after.
“Nobody should play this game in its current state!” Quin warned. “It’s toxic, and only exists to take people’s f–king money! If you’re a free-to-play player, you’re literally there, by design, to be a source of entertainment, for whales! That’s the only reason you exist! They don’t need you! They wouldn’t even have you bro.”
“Do you understand that?” he ranted. “If they didn’t need free-to-play players, they wouldn’t even market it, or anything- they wouldn’t have you. You are there to get f–ked by rich people, that’s your only- the only point of you playing the f–king game bro. So giving it to a free-to-play player is like, f–king pointless. You should not be playing this game, you should quit.”
Proceeding to delete his character and uninstall Diablo: Immortal for a final time, an exasperated Quin repeatedly exclaimed, “F–k this dog-s–t game”.
“Delete your accounts,” he added. “Everyone should quit this dog-s–t game. F–k this trash. Let’s get the f–k out of here boys.”
Though Quin didn’t seem to set out with the mission to protest the game, his time with the game clearly ground down his last nerves of tolerance, eventualy leading him to realize just how shameless Blizzard Entertainment are to their consumers, investors, and, with the Microsoft acquisition still pending, new potential owners
Yet, despite this very apparent shamelessnes, Diablo: Immortal has still managed to pull in a tidal wave of cash.
In what should come as either a little suprise or a major one depending entirely on your faith in humanity, Diablo: Immortal has made over $24 million in its first two weeks of public availability.
However, while this is an admittedly impressive total, it should be noted that it still pales in comparison to the $100 million Genshin Impact made in the same time-frame.
Regardless, the two titles’ insistence on using these philosophically similar RNG systems, both of which have been accused of being exploitative and borderline gambling, has led to them being banned in both Netherlands as Belgium, the two of which cracked down on lootboxes in videos games after the now-infamous response to the execution of their inclusion in Star Wars Battlefront II.
Blizzard Entertainment has cited “current operating conditions in these countries” as the reason behind their absence from the respective European countries.
Speaking of national interests in the game, interestingly, Diablo: Immortal’s $24 Million USD pull was made without the help of China, as its release in the Communist-led country wasdelayed just three days before its launch.
The game’s official account on Chinese social media platform Weibo was also recently banned. In response to these terminations, NetEase, the game’s Chinese publisher, stated they were making “multiple optimization adjustments.”
While some have speculated that the increasingly strict regulations on video games put in place by the Chinese government last year were the reason behind Diablo: Immortal’s Eastern troubles, the actual reason is far more likely to be the fact that the Weibo account had broken national law by making a mocking comparison between President Xi Jing Ping and Winnie the Pooh.
Chinese fans have theorized this slip up occured because one of the game’s marketing team either forgot, or intentionally chose not, to switch Weibo accounts to their personal one.
What do you make of Quin’s ‘protest’? Let us know your thoughts on social media and in the comments below.