When all this Diablo III hub-bub went down, I have to admit I was doing some pretty serious eye rolling. I mean, Blizzard knew the game was going to be big and popular. You’d think they’d be prepared. Today’s announcement has left me feeling a little more forgiving, and it might make you ready to offer your sympathies as well. Blizzard has just announced that the figures are all in and over 4.7 million people swamped the Diablo III servers the day the game launched.
What I find really interesting is how the figures break down. I think we all remember that, for a time, Blizzard was offering a free copy of Diablo III to any World of Warcraft players who signed up for an annual pass. It turns out over 1.2 million people jumped on that deal. So right away, Blizzard knew that probably about 1 million of those fans were going to be counting down the days and at their computers the moment the game launched on May 15, 2012.
Which means that the other 3.5 million or so copies were sold within the first 24 hours. The second the game was out, people were jumping down Blizzard’s throat trying to buy it. I’m sure that all of them bought it with the intent of playing immediately and that’s what made the company’s servers cry out in pain.
If that wasn’t enough to gum up the works, it only got worse. By May 22, 2012, over 6.3 million people owned Diablo III. Since problems with the game due to overcrowding started pretty much immediately, that means that additional 1.6 million people knew and didn’t care. They just wanted Diablo III that bad.
Anyways, good for Blizzard. It seems like they’re starting to get on top of things now, managing the load. People who are playing seem to be happy, when they’re not getting hacked, and all seems right with the PC gaming world.