Blizzard has taken action against in-game currency for Diablo Immortal purchased on third-party sites, leaving some whales with tens of thousands of dollars worth of in-game debt.
Eternal Orbs make up the primary form of currency you can purchase in Diablo Immortal. Officially, you can buy it in bundles ranging from $1 USD for 60 orbs up to $100 USD for 7200. As a report from PCGamesN explains, third-party sites are willing to sell orbs at steep discounts over the official prices, though their stock of the in-game currency is often derived from fraudulent means like glitches or purchases made with stolen credit cards.
With the launch of Diablo Immortal's Season Four update, it appears that Blizzard has deleted a whole bunch of currency that was purchased via these third-party sites. As numerous reports from users on social media can attest, that's left players who've spent big on unofficial currency purchases with negative orb balances. Not only would affected players have to rebuy their way through all that debt to start making more in-game purchases, they're also unable to join parties or group activities until they regain a positive balance. It's basically a soft ban.
One of the most extreme examples of this is a player called Shia, who's shared a screenshot of a -2,491,025 orb balance - which, as PCGN estimates, would take about $35k to pay off through legitimate in-game purchases.
Many players are less than sympathetic to big spenders who've poured thousands into third-party orb purchases, and are pretty much just enjoying karmic retribution.
Still, it's not as if Diablo Immortal's microtransactions have much of a defense force outside of Blizzard itself. Players have been complaining that it's been a pay-to-win affair since launch. Blizzard says the majority of players aren't spending money at all, but that hasn't stopped the free-to-play game from raking in $100 million through mobile purchases alone.
Blizzard is already promising that Diablo 4's seasons won't be pay-to-win.