Mike Morhaime (not pictured above), the longstanding CEO of Blizzard and recent corporate servant of Bobby Kotick (pictured above) has taken to the Diablo III forums to apologize, make excuses, and write enough corporate-speak to hopefully convince players that Blizzard’s latest big hit is not a big shit. This, following on the heels of news that Vivendi is trying desperately to sell Activision Blizzard but nobody wants to buy it — probably because word on the street is that they churn out unfinished games at a unsustainable rate — which makes me wonder if this damage control is a coincidence or not.
Using the ancient method of saying the opposite of the truth — for example calling the universal outrage over the myriad of errors and crashes “not-so-positive” and throwing out the “Every Voice Matters” slogan — Morhaime’s post is a wall of blue text that means nothing, but feels reassuring to look at. The unforgivable DRM scheme is labelled a success, not because even one player enjoys it or feels like it’s fair, but because “we have not found any fully functional cracks” of the game. Huzzah!
And that’s not even broaching the subject of the Real Money Auction House, which is Blizzard’s shameless ploy to capitalize on the worst instincts of its gamer base. As Ars Technica says,
Many players feel the in-game auction house perverts the spirit of the game by allowing people to buy their way to top-level loot. But Morhaime reiterated that Blizzard felt this was the best way to protect players from shady, black market item trading sites that cropped up around Diablo II. He admitted that the service “isn’t perfect,” but said that the company is “committed to ensuring you have a great experience with Diablo III without feeling like the auction house is mandatory.”
Just as with StarCraft II, which has failed to live up to its predecessor in every meaningful way, Blizzard is calling on its restless congregation to have faith, for There Shall Be Patches, And We Shall Get Our Money’s Worth. Some beautiful day, when our weary travels in Sanctuary are over.
Meanwhile, upcoming Path of Exile will be completely free, feature zero “pay to win” features, and have an infinitely more interesting end game revolving around map items. I’ve already praised the game’s ingenious economy, beautiful graphics, and superior game design. You can currently buy into the beta using a Supporter Pack, which I suggest you do; this independent developer deserves success, unlike Bobby Kotick’s monstrosity.