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Op Ed

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Why The Problem With Diablo Isn’t Diablo.
We have to demand a standard of quality and dedication from these things. If we try to paint complaints about Diablo III’s loudly reverberating server-side-down bellyflop as entirely immature, wrong, and entitled, we’re basically saying, “Look, everyone else! We’re totally OK with this.” I mean, Diablo III’s almost assuredly sold millions of units by this point. If widespread rage then proves relatively short-lived, I have to imagine that looks like pretty much all upside to, say, Tim Willits or even devs/pubs whose intentions aren’t quite so benevolent or design-focused. Piggy banks are happy, and customers are happy. What more do you need?

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11. Re: Op Ed May 18, 2012, 13:22 Pigeon
Cutter wrote on May 18, 2012, 11:36:
The real question is how many games actually have that pull that they can get away with online DRM. We've already seen Ubisoft fail miserably with this. I imagine the reality may end up not quite as bad as we imagine. I do believe that we're going to see the major publishers certainly make the attempt to do this with everything else coming out...for now. However, if the response is the same as Ubisoft where they see a major decline in sales, then this scheme won't last.

There are certainly other factors involved too. We have yet to see how all this pans out for D3 in the long run - both from a sales perspective as well as a technical one. Blizzard may have sold 2 or 3 million copies for far but what does that really mean if they were expecting to sell 10 million copies. Don't kid yourself, there are still a great many pissed off people out there who didn't cave and buy the thing and they know it. Also, if the long term technical problems with lag/discos/etc, really turn people off.

I honestly don't believe that most people will want most games badly enough to put up with this sort of bullshit. I predict we'll end up with a mix where the real major titles like this, CoD, et al. have this sort of scheme but most other stuff won't. And let's not forget that if the pie-rats find a work around this could push a huge segment of people into piracy and really hurt sales.

The sky isn't falling entirely yet, and it'll be interesting to see exactly how this all pans out in the next few years. Meanwhile like PE you have to continue to fight the power.

This is probably closer to the truth. Games that already have a large fan base will be able to get away with this always on scheme, new titles or titles with a much smaller fan-base will find it a lot harder to grow their base if a lot of people are turned off by this kind of DRM scheme.

The other factor is what features come with being always on. D3 has the AH, and the ability to talk to and quickly jump into friend's games. Don't get me wrong, I think you could easily have an offline mode and still have those features, but it's still a way for them to justify the always on thing. Whereas if you only have it for DRM purposes people are going to be less likely to swallow it.

Even if their sales aren't as expected because of this I doubt blizzard will change anything because of it, they'll continue to tow the company line until one of their ships sinks.
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