Yesterday, Blizzard Entertainment (the game developers behind the increasingly popular Starcraft, Diablo and World of Warcraft franchises) announced that over 3.5 million copies of Diablo III were purchased prior to and on the game’s release date. Moreover, that figure doesn’t even include the 1.2 million plus customers who received Diablo III as part of the company’s World of Warcraft Annual Pass promotion.
In total, over 4.7 million gamers were prepared to take on the fictitious demons of Hell on day one – undoubtably the cause of Blizzard’s painfully frequent server crashes and the lengthy maintenance times that accompanied outages on that Tuesday.
Of course, in their press release, Blizzard issued an apologetic statement regarding the extended periods of downtime following the game’s release:
‘We’re definitely thrilled that so many people around the world were excited to pick up their copy ofDiablo III and jump in the moment it went live,’ said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. ‘We also regret that our preparations were not enough to ensure everyone had a seamless experience when they did so. I want to reaffirm our commitment to make sure the millions of Diablo III players out there have a great experience with the game moving forward, and I also want to thank them for their ongoing support.’
Furthermore, the public considers Diablo III’s newfound requirement of a constant internet connection to operate in single-player mode as the game’s Achilles’ heel and associates it with their inability to play consistently. From a developer’s standpoint, the internet requirement reduces piracy to an almost moot point.
With that said, everything appears to be running smoothly for the time being (except a handful of online features) and hopefully will continue to in the game’s foreseeable future. More information pertaining to Diablo III can be found on Blizzard’s official site. Stay tuned for coverage regarding Diablo III and future game titles.