Diablo Immortal Raked in $49 Million in Its First Month
Diablo Immortal launched a month ago to much fanfare, and for the first few days, things were good. Players were surprised how much the mobile game felt like a real Diablo title. Then, the in-app purchase hangover hit. Completely leveling up a character would cost many, many thousands of dollars, which has some fans up in arms. Not all of them, though. Plenty of people are pumping money into Diablo Immortal. According to market intelligence firm AppMagic, Activision-Blizzard has raked in a whopping $49 million in the game’s first month, and it still earns more than a million per day.
The game has proven very sticky in part because the first few hours bring all the cool experiences you’d expect from a Diablo game. There are demons to slay, lots of loot to collect, and powerful abilities to unlock… and then you hit a wall. For me, it was around level 25-30 when I felt the difficulty ramping up faster than my free character’s progression. The only way to keep adventuring is to use Elder Rifts, which are essentially loot boxes dressed up like miniature dungeons. Remember Nephalem Rifts from Diablo III? This is similar but with the addition of random rewards.
The random rewards in Rifts include legendary gems, which provide powerful bonuses when slotted into your gear. If you don’t have a good selection of these gems, you’ll have to get used to the endless grind and slow progression. Plenty of gamers have ended up spending a dollar here or there — MobileGamer.biz reports that Diablo Immortal’s revenue peaked 10 days after launch with $2.4 million in sales that day. While it has dropped off from that level, Blizzard is still raking in more than a million dollars per day to reach $49 million in the first month.
It’s important to note that AppMagic’s figures only cover the mobile versions of the game on iOS and Android. There’s a beta desktop client where players can also purchase premium items to boost their rifts. So, Blizzard could be making even more money that doesn’t appear in AppMagic’s stats.
As much as some of us object to aggressive in-app purchases, Diablo Immortal is just the latest evidence that it works. Mobile games attract casual players who don’t mind dropping a few bucks here and there on a free game. It also gives the “whales” something to do with their overflowing bank accounts. These people will happily spend thousands of dollars to transform their character into a wrecking ball, much to publishers’ delight.
It’s impressive to see Diablo Immortal maintaining its daily revenue throughout the first month, even with all the negative press. This is before Blizzard has even rolled out any new content. It will undoubtedly have more premium experiences ready for paying customers. The rest of you will just have to keep grinding or wait for Diablo IV, which won’t feature the same aggressive monetization.