Blizzard’s new free-to-play Diablo game already faces criticism for allegedly egregious microtransactions and pay-to-win design. Less than a week after Diablo Immortal’s launch, a gray market where players can purchase accounts and boosting services has already emerged.
Diablo Immortal players have only had a few days with the game, but many have already started selling high-level characters and offering to level up other characters for a fee. Simply searching “Diablo Immortal boosting” uncovers several websites offering gray market services.
Vice encountered one player who spammed the in-game chat to advertise one such site, “P2PAH”. The site sells level 60 characters for $200, services to boost characters from level 1 to 60 for $117, and in-game platinum coins for cents. Other sites sell level boosting, coaching, farming, campaign completion, battle pass completion, and other services starting at a few dollars each.
Diablo Immortal features microtransactions designed to speed up player progression. Like in many games that sell virtual goods, this begs the question of whether Blizzard balanced its game to encourage buying them. However, the fact that users are already paying others to play the game for them suggests a serious barrier between starting the game and having fun.
Players are criticizing Blizzard because it can cost thousands of dollars to max out a Diablo Immortal character. The game’s loot boxes have already gotten it banned in Belgium and the Netherlands, where it runs afoul of gambling regulations.