Diablo III will probably go down as having one of the most successful launches of the year sales wise. Even if Blizzard’s server farm probably melted during the initial 24-hour rush, there’s no denying that a lot of people wanted to play the new hack-and-slash RPG. What’s curious about this is that Diablo III hit the streets with no launch day reviews.
While it can be argued that Blizzard, along with Valve, could get away with not needing day-one reviews, the case can still be made that the rush to review is damaging to both the industry and the consumer. It’s something we’ve talked about before here on GamerSushi, but VG247′s Patrick Garrat takes another look at this concept from the perspective of Diablo’s launch.
As games are becoming increasingly reliant on an Internet connection, pre-release review events are done in a controlled environment so things like latency, server issues and all sorts of errors don’t crop up. Games like this are reviewed in a vacuum and that harms the consumer’s impression. Launch-day reviews can be damaging in this case. Remember Gears of War 2, and all of its great scores, none of which mentioned the horrible net-code that plagued users for weeks? Remember any of the Battlefield games that launched with no connectivity, effectively killing the only reason people bought the game? This is stuff that doesn’t get addressed in a pre-release review session.
The big presence behind all of this is Metacritic, where a studio’s future is made or broken. There’s been a couple cases for breaking away from using Metacritic as a measure of success, but Diablo III is the first step towards actual change. If Blizzard was willing to distance themselves from this model, maybe other publishers will follow suit.
So what do you guys think? Does Diablo III’s successful launch mean that we can eventually move away from Metacritic or is this a case of Blizzard being Blizzard? Do you think that day-one reviews are a detriment to a game’s success? What do you think about the article in general? Go!
Source – VG247