During a livestream on May 11, 2023, Twitch streamer Zack "Asmongold" shared his thoughts on the recent controversy surrounding Diablo 4's battle pass system. For context, popular variety gamer Ben "CohhCarnage" slammed the upcoming ARPG's (Action Roleplaying Game) in-game cash shop and expressed his displeasure with it.
He stated that he was not a fan of mechanics such as cosmetic cash shops and the free/paid battle pass because they compel players to spend more money on top of the $70 initial purchase price.
Asmongold agreed with CohhCarnage and suggested that the current state of gaming was due to it becoming more mainstream in general. He went on to say that the problem stemmed from mobile gamers who play titles like Clash of Clans and Candy Crush:
"The problem is the fact that gaming went mainstream and, like, now gaming (is) so mainstream that you have people that are... like, they wouldn't normally be gamers. But there are, like, mobile gamers. So, they're playing, like, Clash of Clans or Candy Crush, or something like that."
Asmongold and McconnellRet discuss the impact of mobile gamers on the current state of the gaming industry
At the four-hour mark of his livestream, Asmongold watched CohhCarnage's reaction to Diablo 4's battle pass. After hearing the latter's point of view, the One True King (OTK) co-founder remarked:
"You know what the worst part is? He (CohhCarnage) is completely right. That's the worst part! And it won't matter. You know why? That's just the way it is."
Zack's good friend, McconnellRet, joined the conversation and blamed mobile gaming for the situation:
"I'm telling you, man! It's mobile gaming. That is what happened. You've got these god d*mn stupid a** smartphones, and they want to play their god d*mn dumb a** f**king games in bed. And so, they went to the developers, and they were like, 'Hey, can you make games I can play in bed?' And the developers were like, 'Yeah, sure!' And then they got the bright idea to charge people more money for f**king microtransactions on their mobile s**t..."
Asmongold then claimed that the problem arose because gaming has become more mainstream, causing people who would not normally play games to become gamers by playing titles like Clash of Clans and Candy Crush on their phones.
Continuing further, the streamer referenced a controversy in the Magic: The Gathering sphere, in which Wizards of the Coast faced backlash after reintroducing a pack they claimed they would not produce and charging $1,000 for it. According to Asmongold, Hasbro eventually chose not to proceed with the contentious decision and apologized to the community.
The Austin, Texas-based personality compared this situation to that of gaming and remarked:
"The thing with gaming is like, gaming is so much bigger than something like Magic. Like, you can't have like, that type of cohesiveness. 'He didn't apologize.' Oh, okay. I wasn't so sure about that. So like, there are so many people now that are doing gaming stuff that there is no cohesion like, the player base."
Asmongold added that the gaming community could not protest because people were too separated from the larger community for it to have any effect:
"And you can't really, like, actively protest or dislike something because enough people are like, separated from the larger community for it to matter."
Fans react to Asmongold's opinions
The streamer's take on the current state of gaming attracted over 750 reactions in the YouTube comments section. Here's what the online community had to say:
Several fans concurred with the 32-year-old personality's viewpoint. Meanwhile, one viewer stated that the battle pass system was a "true nightmare" for gamers.