Diablo 4’s troubled history with microtransactions has grown more grim after Blizzard began selling class-locked portal reskins.
“Portal through Sanctuary in style,” begins the description for the $29.99 Dark Pathways pack, as noted by PC Gamer. The pack includes the Hell and Back bundle, which contains the Tempest Gate Sorcerer Town Portal, Transit Artery Rogue Town Portal, Netherworld Threshold Necromancer Town Portal, Wildroot Way Druid Town Portal, Warpath Barbarian Town Portal, and 1,000 Platinum (which is itself worth $9.99). There is currently no way to buy the portals individually.
As you’d expect, players have reacted negatively to the existence of the cosmetic pack, and not just because the price of the thing is equivalent to some other hugely popular PC games, such as Palworld. Diablo 4 players have also complained that the price of the bundle is needlessly raised by the inclusion of premium currency, a standard tactic to make virtual bundles appear more valuable in customers’ eyes.
But it’s the fact the portals can only be used by the applicable character class that’s really sent Diablo 4’s community into a furore. Each portal is unique with a theme that matches the class, so it’s not possible to swap freely between the portals while using the same class. Don't have a Druid on the go? Then you can't use the Wildroot Way Druid Town Portal.
It’s worth noting that Diablo 4 is a full-price action role-playing game, and while these portal skins are purely cosmetic and do not affect gameplay, they join a long list of controversial microtransactions that have hit the game since its record-breaking launch in June.
Of course, Diablo 4 developer Blizzard is now owned by Microsoft following the company’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard last year. It was a move that some had thought would usher in a new era for Blizzard, but it got off to a troubling start after Microsoft announced nearly 2,000 staff would be let go from its gaming division, a devastating round of layoffs that have hit Blizzard hard.
Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at email@example.com or confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org.