On Monday night, thousands queued up at over 8000 global midnight launches of Diablo 3. It seems retail game stores haven’t died on us just yet, as “faithful” gamers still manage to come together in order to purchase the latest instalment of their favourite game franchise.
I myself have never played the game, but considering the Blizzard crashes this soon after release, and the return of the dreaded “Error 37” message, it must be a good’un. It has since beaten records as the most pre-ordered PC game of all time on Amazon.co.uk. Considering the fact that D3 is similar in HUD and gameplay to the likes of ever famous World of Warcraft, it’s no wonder the developer has done well in recent years, posting profits of $1 billion in 2011 with thanks to MW3. The Diablo series came before WoW, but both have done equally well, as they are similar in appearance and structure, and the online capabilities nowadays have opened up wider gaming experiences for millions. Interestingly, last October Blizzard announced an “annual pass,” whereby WoW players would receive a free digital download of D3 upon release, so clearly the two game series are profitable.
Some say that Steam rose and fell in the glimpse of an eye; they are sorely mistaken. Steam has been quietly growing and changing and will probably stay an alternative game destination for many years. Just this week in the US, “Steam Wallet” cards went on sale, as credit cards worth $20 and $50, and GameStop are very excited about their deal. Jason Holtman, Valve’s director of business development, considers GameStop to be “the most recognised game retailer in the world,” and has great faith in the store’s ability to sell Steam products. Arcen Games’ Chris Park stands by Steam under the gunfire of traditionalists, and says that true gamers should play and enjoy games in “whatever way is most convenient for them,” which is fair.
Relating to my article last week, and the argument saying Black Ops 2 needs new technology to reach it’s amazing potential, some people think that the old engine will do just fine, thank you very much, as improvements will secure good gameplay and beautiful graphics. Since the BO2 hype began, so many critics and gamers have been worried sick that it will be a waste of game if there isn’t a new console available, with better graphic and processing capabilities. But Treyarch’s Mark Lamia sees the game as more of a challenge, like an old house that needs work done to it, instead of simply moving out and starting again. With new coding replacing some of the deeper visual elements, BO2 is set to storm the stores, both online and retail, on November 13th, and so many people are hanging on the edges of their seats in anticipation of the ninth Call of Duty instalment, that it would be utterly foolish to allow it to be anything less that mind-blowing.
And now, expecially for Phil if he doesn’t already know that it exists (which he probably will), Minecraft: Xbox 260 Edition has sold over 1 million units, and is going strong. This unexpected legend of a game has become a guilty pleasure to many gamers across the globe, listed fourth best game to play at work in PC Gamer magazine, and bust Xbox Live records in the first 24 hours of release, with over 400,000 players online. Stunning sales for this relatively simple game prove that a modern video game doesn’t have to be pretty and complex and have intricate controls. Nay, instead Minecraft shows the gaming world that all it takes to have fun is a pickaxe and some extremely blocky, pixelated landscapes.
That’s all for this week’s news round-up, check in next Tuesday for another go!
– Will : )