Factors for Diablo 3 player decline

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Things have not gone smoothly for Blizzard since they launched Diablo 3, which came as a surprise to us all considering how long the game was in development and the respect we have had for the developer over the years. A recent report has come to light that shows that the player decline with the game has been shocking, but there are so many other factors that need to be taken into consideration before we begin to say that Diablo 3 is a failure – when clearly it still has so much to give.

Its been reported that the player base for Blizzard’s latest title has dropped by more than 50 percent of what it was at launch, and while we’re being told that the cause of the decline is due to the recent issues with the game, there’s more to it than that. Firstly it’s nothing new that the player base of a game drops shortly after its release. With most games there’s an air of excitement and you just need to play it once released, but after you have got used to it you then start to move onto another game that you can play against friends or other fans of the game you’re currently enjoying.

We should also consider another factor before we say that Diablo 3 is a fail, and that is the fact that since Diablo 2 was released in 2000 the gaming industry has changed with many more games now on offer to tempt you. Then there’s the fact that we always have an urge to play the next big thing, along with the fact that some gamers are now finding it much harder to complete a new game before they move onto the next title.

Having said that, it’s still hard to argue that the server issues and having to connect to the Internet to play the game has not had some sort of effect. There’s also the fact that many fans have said that while Diablo 3 is better than the first game, it doesn’t come close to Diablo 2.

Why do you think there has been a player decline, could it be because of those issues or just a simple fact that gamers lose a certain amount of interest after a few weeks?

 
  • Huol

    I think the connection/game issues have a lot to do with it, as some people haven’t been able to really play since May (1.02 patch). However…I think people are realizing that the game as a whole is just a front for the Real Money Auction House. The story was pretty bad, and eventually you realize that you’re playing the game to just farm for farmers.

    The gameplay itself isn’t bad though.

  • Kim Jolicoeur

    I believe
    the biggest factor in the player decline is simply because users have finished
    playing.

    Maybe it’s
    completing normal and not wanting to grind through 3-4 more difficulty levels,
    maybe the AH is of no interest to them, I believe the only gamers who will take
    full advantage of all the features D3 has to offer are the harder core players
    out there, those players who have been addicted to D2 for 12 years.

     

    Basically,
    the always online feature, among other things, provides a new data: How long
    does a consumer play a single-player game.

    Before, one
    would buy Civ 5, for example, and this statistic was recorded as a unit bought.
    One would then play the game for X amount of hours before moving on to
    something else, but since the game is not always online, there was no way of
    recording this data.

    With D3,
    there now is.

     

    D3 pre-sold
    3.5 million copies, and I’m pretty sure Blizzard/Activision had made its money
    then. They want more and are counting on the AH to do so, but maybe they forgot
    that most consumers (not necessarily gamers) will not play D3 for the next 12
    years, no matter how awesome the game may be. Most consumers will complete Normal, some will
    probably move on to something else shortly after beginning Act 3, because of
    the steep difficulty increase.

     

    I really
    think it’s a normal thing, but a new statistic brought on by the always-online “feature”
    and nothing to do with the most infamous issues, as most people didn’t
    experience them.   
     

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/3G6ANEPGAYOTHH7BULJCYUHZUM R

       ”3.5 million copies, and I’m pretty sure Blizzard/Activision had made its money
      then.”

      Depends on what the development costs were.  Supposedly they were working on it for years, right?  I suspect that 4 million copies does not even approach “break even”.

  • Jeff Brady

    Casuals can’t advance far in the highest difficulty mode (where all the best stuff drops) because it requires poopsock time commitment levels.  The devs insist they’ve played through the game without using anything that didn’t drop for them but that couldn’t have taken the amount of time the average gamer would consider reasonable.  By “played through the game,” they might have been talking about leveling to sixty as well (as opposed to defeating Inferno Diablo).

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/3G6ANEPGAYOTHH7BULJCYUHZUM R

       That is my biggest complaint with the diablo series.  In order to really complete the game, defeat all the challenges and take it to the logical conclusion, you have to be totally dedicated to the game.  No personal life at all.  Every minute of your free time has to be devoted to playing.  Its absurd and its not healthy.  I think that if you play a game for 10 hours a week, within no more than 6 months you should have been able to get thru everything and start getting bored.  With D2 (and it seems now with D3), that just isn’t possible unless you have help somehow.  Putting more time than that into a game is too much, I think.  We all need to have a life.  School for those of you in school, family life for those of you who are married with families.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GEW7UNZWHZOYEVDRS266QDB74I Greg Mondale

    The game was doomed as soon as Blizzard decided to lock out the mod community with single-player Internet DRM.  We will never know how great a heavily modded Diablo III could have been, and Blizzard will never know what a dedicated mod community would do for their game.

  • Tantricbuddha086

    D3 is fail simply because blizzard didnt want to make a quality game.  Their goal was to make money which they did.   The game was a failure on so many levels.  Just go look at all the preview videos and everything else.  From what ive seen this game is a case of how stupid and naive the video game community is.  Just wait for GW2, i guarantee that game will flop too. 

    • Sean Nissen

      GW2 has been in a BETA phase for over a year and even the beta puts all retail versions of blizzard games to shame.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/3G6ANEPGAYOTHH7BULJCYUHZUM R

       Making money is what blizzard is in business for.   That’s fine.  But when they create aspects that are not fun and the money-making is in your face (auction house), then it drives people away and then ultimately they don’t make money.  I’d say blizz failed to find the proper balance.

  • K-weh

    It has become an mmo, what do you expect? Diablo 2 was released YEARS AGO and people still play it why!? MODS! Mods extends the lifespan of a single title for years! Not only that the game DRM-free! 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/3G6ANEPGAYOTHH7BULJCYUHZUM R

       I think people still play D2 because they are addicted to waiting for a good drop.  Its no more complicated than that.  I had a love/hate relationship with D2.  I never found an SOJ, never found any really high runes, whenever I got a character close to being fully equipped with a great set, they reset the ladder :(

  • Someone

    How long until magnumfinger posts on this article?

  • Exi

    The Game is just a giant funnel to there real money auction house, it marks a very low point in Gaming for me. The day BLIZZARD sold out there fans for extra cash :(  

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/3G6ANEPGAYOTHH7BULJCYUHZUM R

       I agree. They miscalculated how people will feel about that, big-time.  Players with money to burn will buy great gear then get bored.  Others who don’t have the cash will get bored because they have no way to get the great gear in a reasonable time.  Very bad decision on blizzard’s part.

  • Huskysglare2

    Diablo 3 is a huge fail. The game has no addiction factor like Diablo 2 had. The gearing system is a big mistake. The auction house just ruins it for everyone. There’s no pvp. The game has so many flaws and exploits. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/3G6ANEPGAYOTHH7BULJCYUHZUM R

       I actually think the “addiction factor” was and is, a bad thing.  It makes the gamers frustrated, killing one more boss to hope for that drop of the SOJ that you’ve been waiting a year to find.   Also its bad for blizzard too.  They should want you, from a business perspective, to get bored with a game within a few months to a year and then be ready to purchase the next one.   Look at D2, people payed $50 or so for it and played for YEARS on blizzard servers that they had to maintain.  Is that a good business model?  I don’t think so.

  • FireJW

    The always online DRM is really annoying, but IMAO that’s not the worst. Actually, it’s just the cherry on a cake of disappointments. Blizzard failed to provide an enjoyable experience for gamers by removing all the fun from the previous titles: boss runs, finding epic gear, itemization, skill customization, etc. In addition to that, Blizzard doesn’t care about their customers complaints and, instead, treat’em like idiots (aren’t you thankful?).

    Now, gamers just farm through Act-1 Inferno, finding mostly vendor trash, hoping they’ll find a good rare, that often has no value for their class, to trade in the bot infested Auction House. Wasn’t avoid bots one of the purposes of the ”always online stuff”? Well…

    I know people had exaggerated expectations about Diablo 3, but this game failed hard in almost everything. Even the story is third-rate crap (tnx Chris Metzen).

    (Sorry about the bad english)

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/3G6ANEPGAYOTHH7BULJCYUHZUM R

       ”Wasn’t avoid bots one of the purposes of the ”always online stuff”? ”

      What I understood and think, is that the online only mode was their attempt at stopping hacking of characters.   There are other ways to stop hacking, such as use of encryption and crc checks on the packets, and for me, the hacking would only be an issue if I was trading items or if I was dueling.  Otherwise I say, who cares?  If some other player wants to use a hack to play his or her game, that does not affect me.    So I think they ruined the game itself and shot themselves in the foot, just to fix a single issue (hacking).

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3G6ANEPGAYOTHH7BULJCYUHZUM R

    I have not purchased the game and I won’t.  First, the fact that they ignored single player mode on your computer annoys me greatly just like when they made you do the ladder play in D2 in order to get to play all the aspects – then they reset your characters every few months.  Also the real money auction house indicates they want to continue to make it extremely difficult to obtain the great items (as it was for D2) but now they want you to pay REAL MONEY.   They never fixed the spam issue in D2 meanwhile they banned people for using maphack which was totally absurd.  I hear that spam is a problem already in D3. Nice. In short, I concluded that blizzard, with their arrogant attitude of “you must play it how we say”, does not really care about the gamers.  I think a lot of people play D2 and are now playing D3 because they are addicted to searching for items and gambling their time that a good item will drop.  But they really are not having fun, its just an addiction.

    For those of you who think its a big success because they sold 3 million copies in the first 24 hours, consider the cost of paying a team of full time software developers and graphics designers for several years, plus other expenses.  I would estimate that they need to make 10-12 million just to break even.

    Anyway if you purchased it and you are happy in spite of the server issues and other defects then great.