Whilst there was plenty of excitement and anticipation in the run up to the launch of Diablo III, nobody could have predicted just how anxious gamers were to get to grips with the third installment to the popular series.
According to Blizzard’s own count-up of sales in the first 24 hours on general sale, the title has sold an incredible 3.5 million copies, which renders it the fastest selling PC title in history.
Around this time in a console release cycle – whereby the main standalone gaming units are carrying vastly outdated hardware – there’s usually a boom in PC game sales, with frustrated gamers looking for the very latest in cutting-edge technology and graphics. That said, the numbers are still astounding, and over the course of the first week, Blizzard nearly doubled that number to a total of 6.3 million estimated copies shifted.
Despite the impressive sales figures, the launch hasn’t all been plain sailing – not by a long shot. Bilzzard’s servers couldn’t initially cope after being inundated with gamers looking to play, leaving millions unable to play the title they’d waited such a long time for.
This led to many a negative review on some of the most trusted online review outlets, although in fairness, the downbeat vibe spoke more about Blizzard’s inability to deal with the server load than the quality of the game itself. What’s more, it’s not as though gamers actually need to be online to play the game itself, but Blizzard requires it to prevent people from playing pirated copies – a situation which often leaves developers and publishers grossly out-of-pocket.
Nevertheless, the numbers speak for themselves, and although Diablo was always going to be pushing the millions, even Blizzard will have been surprised by the number of early adopters; (given the poor preparation of servers, we’d guess as much).
Mike Morhaime, co-founder and CEO of Blizzard was understandably beaming about the sales, and although he was pleased Diablo fans rushed to grab their copy, he also apologized for the overtly flawed launch, and assured players that Blizzard will do its utmost to avoid a repeat performance of any kind.
I haven’t personally gotten to try out Diablo III just yet, but it’s certainly one I will grab later in the summer. Having already seen many gameplay trailers and such, I cannot wait to play it, but my better judgment suggests I need to find a period in my life where I can surrender a few days/weeks/months to dedicated gaming.
I’m sure many of you guys are already hooked, so I won’t keep you a second longer!
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