Blizzard’s highly anticipated PC title Diablo 3 was officially released on the 15th May and has set a pre-order record of 2 million pre-orders on Amazon. However, like the Electronic Arts DRM headache, Diablo 3 requires a uninterrupted Internet connection to play the game, even in single-player mode. There is no offline mode.
Unfortunately, it appears that Blizzard underestimated the server capacity required to handle all the gamers looking forward to trying out the game on launch day, thus resulting in the Battle.net servers being overloaded and taken offline after it launched. As Diablo III requires the user to be logged in with an uninterrupted internet connection to play, most players were greeted with an “Error 37” on the day of launch, unable to play the game.
While the issue has since eased up, it does once again show how harsh DRM is on paying customers and it is already seriously hurting the game’s user ratings. It has an unusually low score of 3.9 on Metacritic and 2.5 stars on Amazon.com, both sites with roughly double the number of negative reviews than positive reviews for the title. From a quick glance at the some user reviews posted today, the majority complain about terrible experience of being kicked out of the game each time due to connection issues, especially those on a slow or 3G/Mobile Internet connection
The main reason Blizzard claims this DRM is required is for its upcoming Real Money Auction House, where players can buy virtual items sold by other players. This aims to prevent anyone from hacking the game to try generating their own items.
Blizzard has since posted an open apology on their website.