Diablo 4 is one of the hottest video games right now, especially since it literally tasks players to go to Hell– in order to defeat demons. However, the price of admission might leave some players hesitant. Some even deem Diablo 4 so expensive.
For the record, the game has the following prices:
- $69.99 (USD) for the Standard Edition.
- $89.99 (USD) for the Digital Deluxe Edition.
- $99.99 (USD) for the Ultimate Edition.
Both the Digital Deluxe Edition and the Ultimate Edition come with some exclusive in-game cosmetics for mounts, armor, and even an advanced Battle Pass progress boost for when Season 1 drops. This also gives out cosmetics and whatever is in the Battle Pass ranks.
The biggest difference, however, was that those who bought the Standard Edition did not get a week-long pre-release early access which allowed Deluxe and Ultimate Edition players to get a headstart. A lot of arguments were made for the Deluxe and Ultimate Edition’s price, however, you really only need the Standard Edition of the game if you’re not really serious about out-leveling most other players.
Still, it leaves a lot of players questioning why is Diablo 4 so expensive. Why does it cost $70 when most big games in the not-so-distant past usually only cost around $60 (USD)?
It’s the Norm Now
The good news is that Diablo 4 isn’t exactly ‘expensive.’ It’s actually about the same price as most next-gen video games. $70 is all you need to spend for Diablo 4.
This trend for standard or base edition video game price increases began last year. In fact, the following 2022 games were sold at $70 for the base game at launch:
- Elden Ring (with an upcoming DLC that will add more to the price)
- Horizon Forbidden West
- Hogwarts Legacy
- God of War Ragnarok
- The Callisto Protocol
Those are just a few examples. In 2023, we have The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, costing $70 for the base version (and you need to have a Nintendo Switch). It even has a $130 Collector’s Edition.
You’ll notice that those are all big AAA video game titles. That’s the norm now for big studios with mainstream releases, not just Blizzard with Diablo 4. So technically, Diablo 4 is about the same price as any other AAA game.
This shift to a $70 price tag could be due to many factors, such as global inflation or recession, higher production expenses, and the fact that video games have been at the $60 standard price point for decades now. You’ll be pleased to know that a lot of smaller games, or indie games still come at an affordable cost (sub-$60).
Of course, Diablo 4 is not a small game; it has a huge legacy behind it, and it carries high expectations with each iteration.
Still, the bewilderment over Diablo 4 being so expensive has other justifications. Being a live-service game, it comes with other monetization schemes– some that you usually see in free-to-play games such as Genshin Impact, Honkai: Star Rail, and other free titles.
Microtransactions Store & Battle Pass Cost Can Add Up
Diablo 4, being a live-service game as previously mentioned, will keep adding content over the years– separately from other price-gated expansions or DLCs. Like most live-service games (free or otherwise), Diablo 4 opted for the Battle Pass along with an in-game Microtransactions Store that sells cosmetics.
The full disclosure here is that these incremental costs are not mandatory. Both the Battle Pass and the Microtransactions Store are optional and do not offer any boost to gameplay– otherwise, there would be no end to ‘pay-to-win’ sentiments and accusations for Diablo 4.
You do not have to spend money here. In fact, you can just get away with spending the one-time fee of $70 for the base game and never have to open your wallet for Diablo 4 ever again.
However, there were some concerns with the pricing models and structure, particularly for the cosmetics shop.
In-game Shop Prices
To purchase cosmetics in the in-game shop– aptly titled ‘Shop,’ you have to pay in Platinum, the premium currency for Diablo 4. There’s currently no way to obtain Platinum apart from exchanging it with real money. These are the prices for Platinum:
- 200 Platinum: $1.99
- 500 Platinum: $4.99
- 1,000 Platinum: $9.99
- 2,500 Platinum (+300 additional Platinum): $24.99
- 5,000 Platinum (+700 additional Platinum): $49.99
- 10,000 Platinum (+1,500 additional Platinum): $99.99
The kicker is that each full costume for a character costs around 1,700 to 2,500 Platinum. So practically, each full costume (at least those that will make a significant visual difference) will set you back $25 (USD).
The only stuff you can buy for $10 or below are minuscule cosmetic improvements such as mount trophies or backpacks; these are barely discernible with the usual top-down isometric perspective. This might change later, of course, but that’s the case right now.
It’s also worth noting that some of these $25 full costumes appear to be redesigns of armor that’s currently available in the game for free. You can also freely change the appearance of your in-game armor to something else that looks similar to the full costumes being sold in the in-game Shop. Again, more special or distinct costumes might be added later down the line.
This kind of microtransaction structure for the Diablo 4 Shop has been deemed generally ‘bad’ or poor deals due to their high cost.
Looking at that facet of the game, that’s likely where the why is ‘Diablo 4 so expensive’ sentiments come from, which is fair. $10 to $25 for a single horse/character armor doesn’t exactly scream ‘affordable’ for a lot of players. But even that’s not mandatory for enjoyment or progression.
There’s Also the Battle Pass
The Battle Pass– at the time of writing, isn’t available yet since it’s slated for seasonal content, which is expected to drop on July 20th.
Presumably, it will work the same way as most other Battle Pass models do. There’s a special reward track for those who paid a premium and another reward track below it for free players. This ‘premium’ will apparently cost around $10 (USD) or 1000 Platinum, which puts it in line with most other Battle Pass systems.
Diablo 4 developers also made a strict promise to avoid ‘pay-to-win’ scenarios and boosts, meaning the premium Battle Pass reward track could very well be just limited to cosmetics or perhaps Platinum currency rewards which, again, are only used for purchasing cosmetics.
Diablo 4 Doesn’t Need to Be Expensive
The verdict here is that Diablo 4 is only so expensive if you want the flashiest armor or if you want your character to look somewhat unique. Even then, there are free alternatives with the game’s ample transmog system.
You’ll be pleased to know that you can just spend $70– which is the new normal for AAA games these days, and not worry about any other expenses. It won’t affect your fundamental gameplay experience. For now, there’s really no other mandatory expense to unlock the rest of Diablo 4 until the two planned expansions come out sometime in the future. You’ll have to buy those if you want the new gameplay stuff.