Reports coming in from all corners of the Internet state that many people are still having issues connecting to Blizzard’s forced-DRM-like servers to access even the single-player portions of Diablo III, which was launched at 12 AM this morning. It may just be me, but paying $70 for a single-player game that gives you nothing but an error message when you finally install it and boot it up seems like something that shouldn’t be legal.
I had my own issues with Diablo III when they had an open beta weekend a couple of weeks ago. Claiming that they were having server issues and the like, there was not a single time that weekend when I didn’t have to sit and repeatedly hit the “Connect” button for anywhere from 15 minutes to almost an hour before I could go about my hacking and slashing way. What happened to good old CD-keys, where you purchased the game and the licence together and then were allowed to, you know, actually play it every once in a while without Big Brother’s approval. The open beta weekend of Diablo III was supposed to fix these problems before they occurred with paying customers, but I guess that is just too much to ask these days.
As with any always-on web-based DRM, it’s the big fans and paying customers who are being punished the worst, and we can only hope that this Diablo III debacle will serve to wake-up the game developers and publishers that think that their intellectual property, which will inevitably be “compromised” anyway by server emulation or other warez, is more important than the people that give it monetary worth in the form of video game sales. I for one am voting with my wallet this time around and I encourage others to do the same. No game that treats players as second-class citizens should be supported by the gaming community at large. I’m willing to miss out on the front-line of Diablo III fun, which at this point is mostly error screens anyways, if it means teaching Blizzard a lesson about how to treat its customers.