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Diablo IV update tweaks store UI to curb accidental battle pass purchases

Blizzard quickly undid the UI launch that led to unintentional purchases of Diablo IV's first battle pass.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

July 28, 2023

2 Min Read
Inarius in Blizzard's Diablo IV.

Blizzard Entertainment's newest update for Diablo IV has added an extra barrier to buying its premium battle pass. The change comes following recent controversy around the ease of buying said pass for the RPG's first in-game season. 

Last week, streamer Rurikhan released a video showing that he'd unintentionally bought the $10 premium pass while playing the game. The purchase option is right next to the option for players to check their seasonal progress, and it's not helped that the cursor automatically highlights the "activate premium pass" option by default. 

What further exacerbated the issue was that there was reportedly no prompt to confirm purchasing the pass. So it was entirely possible for a player to spend $10 on the pass without even realizing it until they looked at their screen or received an email receipt.

Plenty of live service games call on players to purchase the premium season pass if they haven't already, but that's usually handled as an option, and with a little more grace. Diablo IV's original UI approach removed the idea of a choice for players by making it very easy to make an accidental in-game purchase.

Blizzard later assured that a temporary fix would come to "ensure the cursor isn’t defaulted [on buying the premium pass] and will instead be defaulted on Season Journey." That change is also present after the most recent update, ensuring that now players will only buy that season pass if they intentionally choose to.  

The road for Diablo IV so far...

Diablo IV released in early June, and by several accounts from Activision Blizzard, has been incredibly successful. Within days, it was Blizzard's fastest-selling game ever, and hit $666 million in global sell-through revenue. 

In Activision Blizzard's recent financial report, CEO Bobby Kotick highlighted the action-RPG for driving a record quarter for Blizzard. It helped the studio's revenue grow by 160 percent.

Even before it actually released, Diablo IV was pulling in high numbers with its pair of public beta tests. In total, the playtime came to 62 million hours, resulting in them being the largest combined beta across the franchise's history. 

All this is worth noting because Blizzard was genuinely unsure of how the game would shake out with the larger public. In December, several developers told the Washington Post about their concerns about the game's reception. 

The game had a rocky development period, one that gradually improved after original directors Luis Barriga and Jesse McCree were ousted from Blizzard entirely. New director Joe Shely and executive producer Rod Fergusson spoke in June about their efforts to improve development. 

Members of the Diablo team didn't attribute all the positive changes to the two men, but acknowledged their presence helped with further improving Blizzard's workplace culture.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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