Well this is a new one. The website Maxroll is currently one of the top rated sites for Diablo Immortal builds and guides, and they’ve announced that despite the massive amount of effort they’ve put into covering the game so far, and the amount of money they could rake in from those guide visitors, they are simply…killing off the Diablo Immortal branch of their website.
And yes, it’s for the reasons you think.
Maxroll has come together to decide to end their work on Diablo Immortal thanks to the monetization of the game, which involves paying for power in the form of legendary gems that drop at the end of dungeon runs, with absurdly low chances at valuable 5 star versions.
This has been a significant investment for Maxroll so far, as they explain in the intro to the lengthy post about why they’re ending Diablo Immortal coverage:
“The Maxroll team covers games we are passionate about. We had high hopes for Blizzard’s Diablo Immortal release, since it could ingratiate a new audience and generation of gamers to a franchise we love. For two years our team (along with the community) thoroughly tested the Tech Alpha, Closed Alpha and Closed Beta, concluding that the core game could be molded into something great. We provided a plethora of feedback during these testing phases to help make Diablo Immortal the best game it could possibly be. However, with heavy hearts, today we’re announcing the closure of Maxroll’s Diablo Immortal branch.”
They estimate they’ve put a cumulative 10,000 hours into their coverage of the game so far, including 1,000 hours providing dozens upon dozens of written feedback to Blizzard directly about what did or what did not work with the game in its early forms. Upon release, all their worst fears about progression and monetization were realized, and they end up citing five reasons why they’re walking away from the game after so much time invested so far, just a month after launch.
1. Economic Structure – In which they lament the lengths to which the game is pay-to-win and employs gambling mechanics with crests and gems.
2. Disengagement and Community Response – They “can’t believe this is the state of the game after two years of testing and feedback” and are just as depressed about it as the rest of the community.
3. Unrewarding Gameplay – They cite how the game forces progression to come to a “screeching halt” in the lategame, and how it implements hidden caps meant to slow advancement and encourage multi-day “engagement.”
4. Money Isn’t Everything – They know they will lose money by shutting down the branch, even if the game has been received poorly, but they view this as a moral stand, as “doing the right thing” despite it meaning they are walking away from 1.5 years of collective work.
5. Lack of Remedy – They don’t know what would get them to change their mind about this short of a dramatic overhaul of the pay-to-win system, and they can’t see Blizzard, who has remained silent about all these issues, doing that.
Pretty forceful statement from a fan community that sunk a ton of time and energy into the game. This isn’t just casual players putting the game down, it’s some of its most die-hard potential fans who were left feeling burned by Blizzard by the final product.
But so far, nothing seems like it’s meaningfully changing with Immortal, attempting to make all the money it can with its current controversial model.
Follow me on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Subscribe to my free weekly content round-up newsletter, God Rolls.
Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.