A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Diablo III

Home at last and going through 10 days worth of gaming news I came across this little gem on Gamasutra.

Basically, for the week of July 3rd the top five selling PC titles were:

  1. Diablo Battle Chest (Blizzard)
  2. World of Warcraft Battle Chest (Blizzard)
  3. The Sims 2: IKEA Home Stuff (EA Games)
  4. Spore Creature Creator (EA Games)
  5. The Orange Box (EA Games)

I had to laugh out loud! Nostalgia FTW!

So here we have, at the top of the list, a seven year old title (If you count the expansion, eight year old if you count the original release) that only runs in 800×600 resolution and which, at $40 a pop, can’t even be derided as heavily discounted.

Okay, yes, it is the silly season. Summer can make for strange sales figures.

And, yes, it is one weekly set of sales figures.

But still, how often does this happen under any circumstances? Did StarCraft get a similar boost last year when they announces StarCraft II?

I am split on what this means. It certainly shows the strength behind the Diablo franchise. Not that I doubted it. Diablo II shows up on Xfire Stats every month. But this was a nice confirmation.

On the other hand, you wonder what Blizzard is thinking, holding back this long until they even announce a new version.

Oh well, they announced it at last and, while not an MMO, it is certainly a title about which I could come close to fanboi-ishness.

It is also mildly amusing to me that I seem to be just a few days ahead of the curve this summer. First I started pining for Diablo III to the point of going back and installing Diablo II. Then Blizzard announced Diablo III and a bunch of people went out and grabbed Diablo II as well.

Maybe even Heartless went out and bought a copy at last.

5 thoughts on “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Diablo III

  1. Spectre

    “On the other hand, you wonder what Blizzard is thinking, holding back this long until they even announce a new version.”

    What they’re thinking is that they don’t want to turn into money grubbers like some other developers/publishers. If they had released a new Diablo every year or two, we’d all be sick of it by now. Instead, they release extremely refined sequels and expansions that are more about quality than quantity. There aren’t many companies like Blizzard and I sincerely hope that they don’t change anytime soon :)


  2. Relmstein

    Umm, yeah I bought the Diablo battle chest last week so I guess I’m one of those statistics. I’ve never played the series before so I thought it would be a good idea to get all the games. Plus I love playing really old computer games. I still occasionally load the original Master of Orion using a hack I found back in college. I still have the original disks for the game, but I’ve never been able to get it to work on anything past windows 95.


  3. Crazykinux

    Well, you have to hand it to Blizzard, Diablo 2 is one hell of a game. I can’t count the numbers of hours I spent on it. I remember playing it through the night with an ice pack on my forearm to reduce the burning and swelling. That’s how crazy a game it was for me!

    They probably took this long, cause the pressure was so great to be able to out do D2. Same goes for Starcraft I guess.



  4. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Money grubbers? Yeah, we wouldn’t want anybody to think that a company that added something like a billion dollars in revenue to Vivdendi’s balance sheet was, you know, in it for the money or anything.

    I was in no way suggesting that Blizzard “Madden-ize” any of their game franchises. I am a great fan of Blizzard and the high quality games they make.

    But lets face it, the timeline between Diablo releases is a bit extreme. It has been eight years now since it first shipped, and it could easily be another two years until we see Diablo III. A decade between installments? For a game that remains as popular as Diablo is? It boggles the mind.

    They could have given the community another expansion at least. Upgrade the graphics so the game could display at 1024×768. Give people a new campaign to play. Maybe even throw it open with a Diablo Campaign Construction kit and scoop up some of the mildly frustrated segment in the Neverwinter Nights community.

    In the end, there were a lot of things Blizzard could have done over the last seven years since the Lords of Destruction expansion came out for Diablo II. For their own reasons, and there are some good ones, they chose to take a very slow approach.

    I am ecstatic that Diablo III has been announced. I’ll be there to buy a box on the day it ships, guaranteed. But if somebody expects me to be happy that they have taken so long, they are not thinking things through.


  5. Vibhu

    not buying the game, but since the game was with my sister, i have asked her to bring it back (this month end) :D

    the gameplay trailer is zimbly amazing !


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