Blizzard Blackout

Like most of the internet, I’ve been playing Diablo 3. Like most of the internet, I’ve been having trouble playing Diablo 3. Maybe I should give some background information for anyone who isn’t keeping up-to-date with gaming news.

Diablo 3 is a mostly single player game published by Blizzard, but as with all other Blizzard games you must be constantly connected to their servers play it. This is a DRM initiative that Blizzard has put into all of its games and it mystifies me for a number of reasons.

Firstly I’ve already bought this game. I paid money for the original box, I didn’t pirate it or get a copy. I bought a SINGLE PLAYER GAME, but to play it by myself I need to connect to Blizzard servers. I’ve been lucky that (touch wood) my internet connection has been stable for a couple days, but what if it wasn’t? If I had no internet connection then I would be forced to buy a pirated game (when I would rather buy original). I’ve ranted about that before so I won’t belabor the point… much.

How does it make business sense to do this? On one hand you can make a single player game that has only an upfront cost – once it’s being sold, then the only additional overheads you have are marketing, maintenance and patch development. Blizzard then adds these DRM servers into the mix: They now have to pay for all those servers, the bandwidth they use and people to manage and maintain them. That must cost a terrible amount of money. Somehow I don’t think they’ve looked at the cost evaluation of how much their DRM is saving them piracy wise vs how much it costs them to implement.

The thing that irritates me most about this DRM system is that it is failing. You can go now and check the social media site of your choice and find hundreds of people complaining that they cannot play their game. Why? Because Blizzard do not have enough servers to handle the load. Amazing. I bought an original copy of a SINGLE PLAYER game… and I can’t play it because of an initiative that is supposed to encourage me to do that. DRM is supposed to make it better to buy original than pirate…. Something is very wrong.

Blizzard have been very apologetic and have said that they are provisioning additional servers, so we must just hang on a bit and everything will be fine. I don’t think they can use that excuse. If anyone should know how to handle server load, it’s Blizzard. These are the same people who run World of Warcraft (which currently has 10.2 Million users) for Newton’s sake. Add to that the fact that Blizzard has to know the preorder numbers for their game and you arrive at the conclusion that they willfully screwed the pooch.

They KNEW that implementing this DRM would require them to have servers. They KNEW the number of people buying this game at launch. How could they NOT know that they wouldn’t have enough?

Blizzard: You screwed up. Fix it.

-Odd

“All that’s left of proud Tristram, are ghosts and ashes.”

P.S. The game is awesome. Really super awesome. I just wish I could play it consistently.

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3 thoughts on “Blizzard Blackout

  1. “Firstly I’ve already bought this game.”

    No. You did not. The legal spindoctors of Blizzard (and many other companies in the software industry these days) now says this in their EULA (and this is the very first sentence):

    “THIS SOFTWARE IS LICENSED, NOT SOLD.”

  2. I suppose it depends how you define “bought”. I'm using the English meaning and not the legal meaning.

    You're right though… I'm sure they have enough legal bits to cover themselves no matter what happens.

  3. Either you could say: You bought the right to use the software.

    If you would be a busines suser of the business license, you will f**ck up the service provider, if you are not able to log-in to the service, you are pay for. And all the courts worldwide will be approve your words, and would force the srvice provider, to pay to you, because of missed SLA.

    Not in this case. And this is a shame.

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