Has Diablo III's Rocky Launch Hurt PC Gaming?

There's no denying that the error-filled launch of Diablo III has been something of a debacle. But has it really harmed PC gaming?

Indie game designer Jeff Vogel worries that it may have, sharing the above thought on his personal blog.

When the highest-profile PC release of the year has a launch this problem-filled, it certainly doesn't help the platform's image. Then again, console releases can certainly be buggy too, particularly multiplayer-heavy console games. But then again again, those games don't lock you out of the their singleplayer content if the company's servers are down.

I will offer this oversimplified and deliberately incendiary anecdote: While I waited and waited for Diablo III to start working after Blizzard's servers failed again last night, I fired up Max Payne 3 and played to my heart's content. And my Xbox wasn't even online.

The Future Is AWESOME! [The Bottom Feeder]


    I would hope it is bad for DRM, not PC gaming.
    But I feel no lessons will be learned on that front.

      you have to remember a xbox is DRM

      "I would hope it is bad for DRM, not PC gaming."
      I agree. Current DRM methods are making me choose my publisher more carefully, but are very unlikely to steer me towards consoles. The types of game I like just are not made in those circles.
      I stopped doing pre-order or buying on release day a long time ago. I resent paying full price to road test, especially when I can get the same product for less, hopefully patched & often with all the DLC some scant few months down the track.

    I had the starter edition, worked fine 3 hours after launch (was out till then) played through it, no problems found it boring not buying the full version *shrugs*

      First Act is the most interesting too. It's twice as long as all the others.

    Hurt it? Error and bug filled game launches are what PC games are all about. PC games have nothing to worry about, they've ALWAYS had issues like this and they are still going strong.

      sad but true, that IS why pc is a shrinking market....

        I don't think the PC market is shrinking much, if at all. It's more that the console market is growing.

        >pc is a shrinking market
        But that's wrong you retard.
        Every console market is getting smaller, PC is growing at an insane rate.
        Steam alone has continued to post at least a 100% increase in profits year after year.

          But is that the PC market growing or just shifting from physical to digital distribution? I.e. Steam profits go up, but sales of boxed products go down.

        and people have been saying that for HOW long?

        try and play a FPS on a gamepad..it makes me want to launch the controller

      There is a difference between error and bug encumbered games that still allow you to play them.

      Than a game being unplayable for no good reason.

      LOL exactly
      Its not bad for PC gaming its bad for idiots who have no idea what PC gaming is like.
      real PC gamers understand that ALL new games esspecially ones with online componants WILL have issue during a launch of this caliber/size.
      And besides... who cares if you cant play it right now? wait 5 minutes and Bam... it works... TA-DAA!

    I'd also say no.

    I'd say it perfectly demonstrated how incredibly stupid this method of DRM is though. I mean the exact same thing would happen on a console if they implemented this requirement for an always on internet connection to play SP. Only morons would think it is platform specific :/

    Hahahaha... PC gamers going to consoles because of D3?

    Seriously, troll right?

    This is a problem with always online DRM not PC's.

    Just want to say 10 hour campaign. Hahaha

      I'm so disappointed with the length.

        Thats what she said?

          how is there no Like button on this forum?

      Just want to say you're an idiot..you could say Skyrim is only 3-4 hours using the same logic...

      The people who are beating the Diablo III campaign that quick are rushing through it, ignoring half the map, events/side-missions, story/lore...everything. I've probably put in 4-5 hours already and I'm still just at the end of Act 1. 90% of the game is the story/exploration, if you want to rush through it like an idiot then fine but don't complain about it.

        Don't forget that Normal is barely the beginning of the game. The real fun starts once you work through the higher difficulties with friends.

        This I dont know how everybody else is playing the game but personally I like to explore every nook and cranny in the game. Played about 12 hours at level 23 and probably aboit half way through act 2. It pays off too so far found two legendaries and not from bosses or specials but from weapon racks or chests.

        No no no no no. Act I is two-three times longer than Acts II, III and IV. The game gets shorter as you go (if you know what I mean). The game IS 10 hours, Act I blinds people a bit but it is a very short game. Act IV is like 30-45mins long.

      Now, I know you're trolling every D3 thread, and I actually find it very funny that you've adjusted your 'campaign' (although calling it a campaign lets everyone know you're not a Diablo player) number to a more reasonable 10 hours (I rushed it with a buddy in 9h50m), but as every real Diablo player knows, the value comes from the replayability (Diablo 2 could probably have been rushed in about 10 hours too). So, while you think you're being the best troll ever, it's the equivalent of me coming onto your cherished Black Ops 2 threads and complaining about the lack of magic in the game. Diablo 3 doesn't pretend to have a long 'campaign', just as mainstream FPS's do not pretend to include 'magic' (although admittedly you move at magical speeds in Tribes).

        Diablo 2 could be done incredibly quickly. If you're going from scratch, you'd spend at most a few hours if you knew what you were doing. If you had a high level character to help you through, you'll be doing Baal runs in less than an hour.

        People got rushing through that game and grinding low level characters down to an artform.

          heck, done in a proper group with bumper characters (characters taken up to hell difficulty in non-expansions mode and then made into an expansion character), you could get 6 level 1 characters into hell mode in around an hour.

      I don't quite follow you here.
      If you are trying to mock Diablo players because the game has a 10 hour campaign, then you know very little of the true nature of Diablo :)

      Sooooooo diablo 2 took SOOOOO much longer??? A guy passes Diablo 1 in like 6 minutes on youtube. Don't know if its hacked or edited but it doesn't look like it... Diablo 2 was ALWAYS about getting Loot, which im sure D3 will live up to. 12 hour average to get half the levels is fine by me. Go troll somewhere else, you have 5 characters to play with!!! so thats 50 hours minimum!!!

        I can certainly understand your perspective, but to be fair, replaying the same content five times with a different character (5x10hr=50) on three difficulty levels each (=150) does not make this 150 hours worth of content based on his stated length of the campaign.

        It's still (debatable) 10 hours. It just has a level of replayability.

      an RPG that plays like a shooter... o kill me now. bring back diablo 1+2, balders gate, freespace, old C&C and quake. i am over these casually orintated new games

      I did a 'full' 'playthrough' of starcraft 2 on casual mode in 5 and a half hours. It was such a waste of money!!!!

      Strange, over 2 games without redoing any quests, on one character, it's taken me 12 hours 34 minutes to finish Act 1+2. Most of that was with friends, and we've generally been exploring most of the map. Certainly haven't rushing through or skipping dungeons.

      I guess the next two acts should take me negative 2 hours 34 minutes?

        I guess the real reason that Blizzard is enforcing online-only play is to maintain a connection to their TARDIS.

    PC gaming has issues, it always has. Consoles have more than their fair share of problems as well. I hardly think the Diablo 3 launch is going to push people away from or tarnish PC gaming as a whole.

    People need to just settle down about whole Diablo 3 thing, really. The most anticipated PC game of the probably the last 10 years had server/login issues in the first 2 days - why are we surprised or so angry? Sure, be a little disappointed, but try and be understanding - can you imagine the volume of traffic that Battle.net servers would have been dealing with? The mind boggles at the thought.

    I am both a PC and console gamer by the way, possibly a little more console based, I'd say 60/40.

    This seems like a slightly silly statement to me.

      just wait untill DRM makes it to consoles

      then I wont have any reason to put up with a controller

    It won't hurt PC gaming because PC gamers love for things to be difficult; it's as if the difficulty in making something work properly is half the appeal.
    No pain, no gain.

    lol rocky launch? Has this guy not been through a launch of a game that requires persistent online connection?

    I still think its BS that you cant play it offline as a single player experience but other than that, its not that bad.

    Oh god no. With all the crap you can endure from PC gaming I doubt people who have put up with those for two decades will change their mind.

      Over the last few years I've changed from a PC gamer to a mostly console gamer. A more 'casual' approach to gaming suits how my lifestyle has developed, but certainly technical issues such as with the D3 launch is something I don't have the patience for any longer.

    Kinda silly over reaction to the situation really. These are an issue with any online service at launch. Look at Elite for Call of duty (what a mess taht was)

    Really as someone who loves PC gaming but primarily is a console gamer, the main thing that hurts me is the cost. Sure i could buy an $800 rig that'll last me for years with only minor upgrades. But 300 buck console will last me just as long with no upgrades.

    Just point of view. If you are a PC gamers a few server bugs wont change your mind.

      " These are an issue with any online service at launch. Look at Elite for Call of duty (what a mess taht was)"

      But it's an irrelevant issue. CoD Elite isn't necessary for playing the game. You could still play just fine, both Singleplayer and MP.

      That 800 dollar rig includes a mouse,keyboard and good monitor.
      Does your 300 dollar Xbox include your good tv and additional controllers?

        Someone feels threatened.

    This isn't bad for PC gaming. It's bad for Blizzard. Their monumentally stupid, widely loathed always online DRM policy has kicked the PAYING CUSTOMERS in the balls. Customers cannot log in. Customers are experiencing lag in a SINGLEPLAYER game. You can bet that once pirates create a crack for the game, likely utilizing server emulation or something similar, they'll have absolutely no troubles playing the game.

    Seriously, the bright spark at blizzard who thought this was a good idea should be fucking fired!

    Judging on this image (http://i.imgur.com/zml9D.jpg) I doubt PC gaming is going to have any problems because of Diablo 3's haphazard launch.

      That image is obviously heavily flawed and discards data it doesn't want to acknowledge, and was designed that way for maximum trollability.

        Really? Asides from my points below what flaws does it have? PC gaming is a growth market. Console gaming is not.

        1. Excluding "yearly rehashes" is bad data. They're still games that are released.
        2. Using "no handhelds" as an excluding factor artificially inflates the PC data. For example, Phantasy Start Online 2 is a Vita game as well as a PC game - it is not a PC exclusive and should not be flagged as such.
        3. The latest Sims 3 expansion pack should not count as an "exclusive game", it's an expansion on an existing game. If you're including this and not "yearly rehashes" is, again, bad data.
        4. There's an inclusion of MMOs and MMO expansions. The latest WoW expansion should not be included, it's simply an expensive patch. That aside, WoW is not PC-exclusive, it runs on a Mac.
        5. Other exclusives that also exist on a Mac should not be included; they're not exclusive.
        6. Fan-mods are not exclusive games. They're mods of existing games.
        7. There's an exclusion of a lot of top-tier XBLA games. They're much more valid inclusions than PC mods.
        8. The data is represented in a misleading way. The icon data on the right is much larger than the list on the left, with the intent to suggest that there are "more" games in the right hand exclusives list. In fact, if you balance all the multi-plats the PC does not receive again the "Exclusives" list on the right, excluding all of the above points, the PC only has 25 "Exclusives", which is only 12 more than the PS3.
        9. SC2:Zerg Edition is as much of a yearly rehash as the other excluded games.

        Like I said, the list is built for maximum trolling. If you're comparing game releases, compare game releases. Limiting the data pool to such an extent that you can make a false claim of "superiority" isn't just wrong, it's bad analytics.

          Now, if you wanted to provide an interesting comparison, make the following list:
          1. Games that are exclusively available on PC or Mac (as a group).
          2. Games that are exclusively available on consoles (as a group).

          I'm pretty sure the number in group number 2 there will far, far outgrow group number 1.

      That's not even a complete list. Indy (and non-Western) developers are far more likely, especially these days, to be developing exclusively for PC and they're not even mentioned on that list. And to boot, a few of the games that might've fallen close to that category WILL sell better on PC than on their multi-platform releases. I mean honestly, Metro Last Light on xbox 360? Who would do that to themselves? That's precisely the kind of mentality put forward by the journalist who wrote this article, saying he played Max Payne 3 on a console.

    Blizzard should have made an offline mode, idiots. What's the point of a single player game you can't play do to servers down? All these news stories makes me glad I won't get the game for a couple of weeks. It'll be a bit more patched then and it's not like I'd have been able to play during that time if I tried anyway

    Yeah, the most preordered game in history is just going kill PC gaming.

    DRM on the other hand...

    Seriously Kotako, its only a big deal because sites like you are insisting it is. Most rational people understand that problems like this happen and will go away. The game itself is amazing, and people who are currently playing it are having too much fun to worry about it. Most of the people on the internet complaining don't like PC gaming (or diablo) for other reasons, or are just trolling because we are having fun and they are waiting for the next modern warfare.

      Or they're like me, and not that interested in that style of RPG so they are freely able to come on here and comment to defend the PC platform because of it's other strengths.

    It will kill PC gaming just like the the PC-launching of Arkham City, Rage and pretty much every MMO did I'm sure there's been more then that but I can't remember).

    Because of stuff like this I won't use PCs for gaming outside of Minecraft.

    Steam and HL2 did this so much better. Once you've logged in and registered online you can cache the program and play offline from then on. Being online and having functional servers to play a single player game is BS.

    I played SC2 ladder while I waited. After raging on Blizzards FB about error 37.

    But this is a serious issue, I don't feel like I own the game, more like I leased it for $90 for however long (and when) Blizzard command.

    Oh NO! A game was released with a bug! I cant play for an hour!

    Please. . .

      It's the premise of the whole thing, where unfinished and buggy games are released to the public and where good service is the exception, not the norm.

    Apparently someone forgot:
    - The downtimes that XBox Live has had
    - The infamous PSN hack that had online play unavailable for a month or two
    - The EA servers going down, meaning people couldn't play games because the DLC couldn't verify
    - UbiSoft taking down their servers for maintenance and causing people to not be able to play their games requiring online presence
    - All the other incidents where anything that has a network/ hosted server solution going offline has meant you can't authenticate with servers and play your game.

    I don't think that this has hurt PC gaming. Rather it's (hopefully) hurt triple AAA releases which are often over-hyped, over-priced, uninspired in design and incorporate features which treat the consumer with contempt. Then the publishers complain loudly that piracy and used games are hurting them.

    We actually live in a fantastic era for PC gaming. With the rise of digital downloads there are tons of fantastic indie developers out there selling a game for every imaginable gaming niche at a reasonable price. If all the EAs and Blizzards of the world went bankrupt, it probably wouldn't matter too much.

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