The idea of playing games competitively has existed for a long time, but only relatively recently have ‘eSports’ come into their own as a spectator sport. With games like Starcraft 2 and League of Legends gaining popularity in the West; a sprawling community of players, commentators and dedicated fans is growing ever larger day-on-day, hour-upon-hour.Read More
It promised to be one of the biggest videogame launches of all-time. 12 years in waiting, Blizzard’s Diablo III was already the biggest pre-seller ever and as highly anticipated as any game has been in recent gaming history. But it's launch will be one the team behind will not forget in a hurry - it was one instead deeply, drastically marred from the very second Blizzard turned the switch on its quite hellish creation. The perils of always-on DRM security and our route to a digital-only future are only now beginning to reveal their ugly faces.
In late 2010, Blizzard Entertainment recorded that it had over 12 million subscribers actively paying for fantasy MMO World of Warcraft. As of the end of September last year, the company reported its subscriber base had slumped to just over 10 million – though, we assure you, that is still a gargantuan number for online gaming.
The drop in players alerted the company that it would have to change tact going forward if it was to compete against free-to-play games of the same ilk; amending its seemingly age-old payment model to free-to-play (at least until level 20 in-game), while performance upgrades and expansions keep the game feeling fresh for existing players. The latter has resulted in Blizzard upgrading the game’s server hardware in order to improve the “gameplay experience” across the board, leaving the company’s much-cherished, ever-dependable older servers out in the cold. Or so you would have thought…