In a Q&A session with streamer “Quin69”, Diablo IV‘s lead game designer Joe Shelly has confirmed the game will have cosmetics as DLC
The streamer asked about the game’s business model at Blizzcon 2019. “Monetization: Is there any just sort of decision made in terms of how- So is it gonna be like you just buy the game and that’s it, or are you- is it gonna be microtransactions within the game, or are you doing subscriptions, how are planning to monetize it; to keep getting funding to keep making content?”
Shelly replied “So Diablo IV is going to be available as a base game, and as I said we’re going to have expansions. You also will be able to acquire cosmetics in the game.”
When Quin69 asked if this would be through an in-game shop, the lead game designer stated that it was still “very early” in development, “but yes.”
Quin69 expressed his approval, and how it meant more content would come to the game, funded by micro-transactions such as that, Shelly elaborated further. “It’s also an opportunity to have more options available than you would otherwise.”
Other outlets have run this story as though it was confirmation that the game would have micro-transactions, however Quin69’s question discusses multiple revenue streams (as shown above). Nonetheless, Shelly revealed very little about how “acquiring” cosmetics will work.
Since you can acquire cosmetics “in the game”, it may suggest anything from being able to buy costumes you can otherwise earn through gameplay, or simply that the game’s DLC can be purchased from within the game (rather than or in addition to a website).
No matter how it is executed, fans may be unhappy with Diablo IV in at least one way, as the game was confirmed to be always online. This was also done with Diablo III to the chagrin of many players, except on consoles. The game’s auction house (allowing players to buy and sell gear with real money) also drew much ire, eventually leading it to be closed.
Diablo IV is coming soon to Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.