If you're desperate to get early access to Diablo 4, Blizzard has a plan. But I suppose it depends just how desperate you are: turn up to one of the publisher's upcoming 'Hell's Ink' events, get an actual permanent Diablo-themed tattoo, and early access can be yours.
Over the weekend Blizzard began a tour that will see them take over select tattoo shops in 8 locations across the US, UK, Germany and Australia between July 16 and September 10. Winners of a social media competition (which has long since come and gone, sadly) have been invited to receive "bespoke tattoos" that draw inspiration from the Diablo universe from one of the 8 big names in tattoo artistry that Blizzard is partnering with for the event. If you're not a competition winner, you can queue up on the day to pick one of several relatively discreet pre-drawn (or 'flash') tattoos.
So far, everyone who's inked themselves with an indelible reminder of the Diablo brand has been handed a card guaranteeing access to an upcoming Diablo 4 beta, plus a promise of a free digital copy of the game when it releases. It seems like a big step to take just to get a free game and early access, but the flash tattoos are at least pretty tasteful (and easy to cover up) as far as tattoos of brands go. At least no one is being asked to name their baby Diablo.
Come get a free Diablo flash tattoo in LA at Vatican Studios on 7/16. Doors open at 11am. #DiabloHellsInk pic.twitter.com/Sb6KREpsCXJuly 13, 2022
After the lacklustre response to Diablo Immortal and its pervasive microtransactions, it feels like a pretty weird time to be inking a permanent tribute to the series on your body. Nevertheless, if you're determined to enshrine the Lord of Terror on your mortal form—or just really desperate for a beta key—there are still 7 more events planned between now and September 10.
Elsewhere in Blizzard news, the company recently terminated development on Heroes of the Storm, struggled with new characters in Overwatch 2, and found 'no evidence' of systemic misconduct in its own investigation into its ongoing problems with staff mistreatment. In that light, perhaps an event based around reminding fans of the good times they've had with Blizzard games is sorely needed, but you can't help but feel that a campaign like this one is strangely timed for both Blizzard and its audience.