At midnight Pacific time last night, the highly anticipated Diablo 3 was released. Judging by all the negative tweets I woke up to this morning, I’m glad I didn’t buy in to the hype. It seems as though virtually everyone failed to connect to the Blizzard servers last night, something you’re required to do even for single player games.
This point really gnaws at me. On one hand, I’m disgusted that you have to connect to a remote server to enjoy a single-player experience. I’ve seen some claims that this was done to prevent cheating, but we all know that this policy is about software piracy. Who really cares if I cheat while playing by myself? No one, that’s who.
On the other hand, I use Steam all the time, which is an (albeit loose) analogy to Blizzard’s Diablo 3 strategy. I typically connect to the Steam servers before I play, though for virtually all of the games I own, it’s not a requirement. Perhaps it’s the fact that you’re required to connect that bothers me. It’s one more online account that I’d rather not deal with.
A few journalists in the gaming world have predicted that this is the future of single player gaming. Only time will tell whether or not that’s true. Maybe this launch will sour people’s opinions enough that mandatory online gaming will be deferred for a little longer. As a single-player gaming enthusiast, I certainly hope so.