Diablo 4 lead doesn't want players to "feel like they can pay to win"

Diablo 4's villain Lilith walks toward the screen in a dark church
(Image credit: Blizzard)

The lead developers of Diablo 4 have stressed that they don't want players to "feel like they can pay to win" when the game releases next year. 

In a recent Diablo 4 livestream, game director Joe Shely, along with associate game director Joesph Piepiora, and community manager Adam Fletcher gave fans an update on all things Diablo 4, as well as gave an insight into how things will work ahead of the game's release next summer. 

During the stream, the trio discussed the Diablo 4 battle pass (around the 39:15 mark in the video below) as well as the game's upcoming seasons. "It's really, really important to us that we balance the things that you'd find in the battle pass," Piepiora said, "the way that they're compelling but still very fair, we don't want to have any situations where players can feel that they can pay to win."

To make a clear distinction between the battle pass and Diablo 4's seasons, Piepiora explained that "the season journey is still in Diablo 4, in the way that you found it in Diablo 3." The chapter-based mechanic will offer players various objectives as they progress through the season and will allow them to earn in-game rewards for their characters. "All of the seasonal content is completely free. It's not attached to the battle pass itself," Shely adds.

In an effort to clear up any confusion, Shely explained that, when Diablo 4 launches on June 6, 2023, it will not start immediately with season one. "Season one will arrive weeks after the launch of the game, and when season one starts, everyone will be starting at the same time, everyone will have an even playing field," the developer said. The competitive features of Diablo 4 (e.g.: leader boards) are apparently going to show up in seasons, so those who don't pay for early access won't have to worry about any unfairness. 

"Our big season updates are all completely free, they're filled with new progression mechanics, new monsters to fight, challenges, new quests, and content to go and consume," Piepiora adds, "there's a lot to look forward to and all of that comes with the box price of the game you've already purchased."

Need something to play in the meantime? Take a look at our 10 games like Diablo to play if you're bored of waiting for Diablo 4.

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.