An old trailer promoting StarCraft 2 as free-to-play is making the rounds in the wake of Diablo Immortal’s monetization blowback.
The last year has not been a kind one for Activision Blizzard, largely due to the ongoing litigation with the state of California over accusations of workplace sexual harassment and abuse by executives. However, the gaming giant was recently hit with another controversy with the release of Diablo Immortal as players got a taste of the expensive microtransaction model. The controversy has now taken a more humorous twist, though, as an old trailer promoting StarCraft 2 going free-to-play has been found and hit Blizzard with the ultimate self-own.
Diablo Immortal is the new free-to-play game from Blizzard Entertainment for mobile platforms, though it is also playable on PC. The game takes place between the events of Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 as players are tasked by series regular Deckard Cain to seek out the shards of something known as the Worldstone in order to prevent an impending catastrophe. Standing in players' way is Skarn, the Lord of Damnation, who seeks to use the Worldstone shards to resurrect his old master, Diablo, and rule over the world of Sanctuary.
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The trailer in question is a 2017 trailer to promote StarCraft 2's then-recent shift to free-to-play roughly seven years after the release of StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty. The trailer served to promote both the free-to-play shift and contained some subtle nods to the game's professional scene, which had experienced a resurgence around this time thanks in part to the success of the StarCraft 2 Warchest.
As mentioned above, the timing of this trailer resurfacing could not come at a worse time for Blizzard as it faces blowback for Diablo Immortal's monetization model. Several content creators, such as Bellular News, have already pointed out the predatory nature of the game's microtransactions by tying them directly to Legendary Gems which, in a dungeon-crawler game, is key to progression in endgame content. Gems can be earned through gameplay by obtaining legendary crest boxes at the end of dungeons, but these are not a guaranteed drop and seemingly force players to purchase gems. In total, Bellular News said it would cost a player roughly $110,000 for enough Gems to fully max out their character.
The self-own of Blizzard's old StarCraft 2 free-to-play trailer is fitting, though, given the short but rocky history Diablo Immortal has had since it was announced. The game was announced during the opening ceremony of Blizzcon 2018 and was met with almost immediate disappointment from players in attendance and watching online, all of whom were hoping for Diablo 4, which wouldn't be announced until Blizzcon 2019. Principal game designer Wyatt Chung tried to cut through the tension with his now-infamous "do you guys not have cell phones" quip, which was quickly turned into a meme regularly aimed at Blizzard.
Diablo Immortal is currently available for Android, iOS, and PC.
MORE: Complete Guide To Diablo Immortal: Tips, Tricks, Builds, And More

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