Blizzard has confirmed that there won't be any form of loot boxes or pay-to-win elements in upcoming RPG title Diablo IV, as part of an in-depth look at its live service and monetisation plans.
In a recent document, the company shared that the title will be a full-price game that will also include a premium battle pass and a cosmetics shop at launch. The items available in both of these will not offer any "pay-for-power" options according to the studio.
While the premium battle pass will focus solely on aesthetic items, a free tier will allow players to unlock items organically without buying the premium upgrade. It'll also include gameplay boosts that all players can unlock, that can be used to level up new characters, for example.
The title will also feature a shop where players can spend in-game currecny on skins and other cosmetics, but these will also offer no gameplay advantage and will not be completely exclusive to the premium content.
"Cosmetics give players even more options to customise the visual appearance of their characters," wrote Kegan Clark, director of product for Diablo IV. "Nothing offered in the Shop grants a direct or indirect gameplay advantage. So, while many of these may look like powerful pieces of gear, they have no in-game stats."
Blizzard also recently made the decision to remove loot boxes from Overwatch, ahead of its transition into Overwatch 2 later this year. The FPS will shift to a free-to-play model with a battle pass system, and the title will gain a new in-game currency that players can earn to buy cosmetics.
The studio faced heat earlier this year with the monetisation strategy featured in Diablo Immortal, after players calculated that it could cost thousands in microtransactions max out a character or recieve rare items in-game.
In a This Week In Business column, our own Brendan Sinclair discussed the "convoluted and opaque" design of monetisation systems in games like Diablo Immortal, and how they slany the playing field against players making informed purchasing decisions.