Welcome back to BlizzPro. I am Dannie “Illusion” Ray and today we are going to talk about money.
It is no secret that Diablo 3 sold a lot of copies and was a big money maker for Blizzard. Not only that, but the Real Money Auction House must have brought in another pretty good source of income. The AH is no more though and while Reaper of Souls sales were respectable, they didn’t match the original release. Right now, it looks like the only money Blizzard will be making directly out of Diablo 3 will come from PC and console game sales.
While the player base has declined, there’s still a lot of people playing Diablo 3, most notable people that play Diablo 3 a lot. This begs the question: If they spend so many hours playing the game, would they be willing to drop additional money on it?
If Microtransactions on WoW are any indication, then the answer is a rotund yes.
So why isn’t Blizzard making some extra cash out of Diablo 3?
For one, they could fear some backlash from the player base.
What We Think
Our own Crow puts it rather eloquently when he says: “If this had been something that was in from the start with D3, maybe the situation would be different, but introducing outside the context of a major franchise installment feels like it would be criticized as a money-grab.”
Others at BlizzPro voiced their opinion too and some were adamant about wanting no part of microtransactions on Diablo 3.
On the other hand, Stephen Stewart echoes a sentiment that I’ve seen all over the Diablo 3 community.
“Extra stash space, easily. I think everyone would if they played the game for any sort of long-term period and with as many sets as there are, it makes sense. People essentially paid for extra stash space when they bought Deluxe and got more character slots; I think people would pay for even more, plus PoE did it.”
Neinball also chimes in to remind us that stash space is quite possibly one of the most asked-for features in the game. Although he admits that there could be a lot of backlash for microtransactions, he thinks they could be worth it despite the bad PR. Here what he had to say about it:
“The RMAH was the solution they came up with to pay for monthly occuring costs of running the game, the RMAH is now dead I can’t believe they’d axe it without a backup plan. The question really comes down to how much profit is made on box sales vs server upkeep, unlike SC2, hearthstone, and WoW, D3 only has box sales to keep it alive; unless they’re sitting on a mountain of cash from the RMAH, which is possible. They weathered the RMAH I don’t think microtransactions for things like stash space would come off as bad. PR with the player base doesn’t pay for server upkeep, development time or bandwidth.”
What You Think
As you can see, a lot of the opinions there go along the lines of: “I wouldn’t mind microtransactions being available as long as they were purely cosmetic and wouldn’t have any effect on gameplay“; there also a lot of “give me extra stash space now!”, although that camp is split between those who would pay extra for it and those who feel entitled to free extra stash space because they paid for the game already.
Bagstone, a senior moderator at DiabloFans had this to say about it the stash debate, “Additional stash space requires more server load and therefore justifies micro transactions. Furthermore, stash space is something that not everyone in the community wants/needs, so it’s not as obvious as it seems.”
Much like Neinball, Bagstone thinks microtransactions could end up adding value to the game:
“I get that people are against microtransactions, but if those have no impact on game play, what’s the deal?
If there’s a special dye you can buy for a few bucks, how does this affect you at all in a negative way? Quite the contrary. Microtransactions are a great source of income. If D3 had micro transactions, Blizzard could spend a bit more money on the server infrastructure (which seems to be not as good as it could be) or hire a couple more people to have more frequent content patches. Those who are willing to pay a few extra bucks for an extra dye can get it, and your character will not perform worse just because your boots are not glowing in a bright yellow color. So what? In the end both sides benefit: those who want cosmetics can get it, and those who don’t will have a better game experience because Blizzard has a constant income source.”
The thing is, the gaming community has seen too many instances of blatant pay-to-win models, microtransactions enabling lazy game design, and companies turning the money from microtransactions into pure profit instead of re-investing some of it into the game and more/faster content for the users.
There’s a widespread fear that microtransactions would ruin the game, but there’s enough evidence to suggest that Blizzard COULD use microtransactions for the benefit of the Diablo 3; note the emphasis on could, this would require careful planning and excellent execution on Blizzard’s behalf and it looks like the community has trust issues.
The general consensus seems to be pretty clear: nobody wants pay-to-win. There’s is way more acceptance of microtransactions when it is restricted to purely cosmetic stuff that has no impact on gameplay, and it would be even better recieved if we could see some of the money being put to good use with shorter develepment cycles and extra features.
You can tell that many gamers abhor change. Any change on how we pay for Diablo 3 would inevitably lead to some sort of playerbase backlash, so Blizzard has to tread carefully on this subject.
Personally, I’d drop considerable money to tone down the spell effects so I could actually appreciate what is going on. I also wouldn’t mind having cosmetics on the Battle.net store. I’d absolutely love voice packs for the characters/followers and maybe even more character slots or at the very least a dual spec feature, but that is just me and not everyone plays the game the same way.
In the end one thing is certain: paid or not, the people still want their extra stash space.
Which features would YOU like to see? Share them with me on the comments below, Tweet them to me @DannieRay23 or mail them at Westmarchworkshop@blizzpro.com