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How Diablo 3 gave Metacritic a giant middle finger

Monday, 21st May 2012 13:53 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Diablo III sold millions of copies with no pre-release reviews, and still has a low MC score. Does this prove Metacritic’s irrelevance? It does for some games, says Patrick Garratt, and the time has come to break the mould.

This episode clearly shows that the notion of giving journalists pre-release code for certain games is irrelevant, and in many cases can be actively damaging.

You’ve undoubtedly noticed that Diablo III, released last week atop 2 million pre-orders and 8,000 midnight launches, has few reviews on Metacritic. The usual pre-release review embargo didn’t materialise and planet game was dragged straight into release frenzy (and all the inevitable server disasters) without knowing whether or not Diablo III was “good”.

As is now obvious – from a sales perspective, at least – it didn’t make a blind bit of difference. Diablo III has been a great success.

We’ve just been party to a rarity in the core space: a release that actively seeks to keep itself away from Metacritic. Diablo III’s MC average currently stands at 88%. Sub-90% is normally the kiss of death for any triple-A title – as far as the money people are concerned, anyway – so how did Diablo III manage to sell multiple millions of copies and defy one of the most awkward rules in games?

The reason is straightforward: Diablo is a huge legacy PC brand and Diablo III was always going to sell very well out of the gate. Blizzard would actively not want early reviews as there’s a potential of low scores damaging launch sales, and there was no need to generate high, pre-release reviews to drive hype.

The result was that Diablo III went on sale without any scores. The people that were going to buy it bought it – so many, in fact, that Blizzard underwent a partial core-melt – and the unsure waited. We’ve still to see ratings from sites like IGN, Eurogamer and Gamespot.

It’s easy to claim Diablo is a unique instance, in that its legacy is so strong that millions of people were going to buy it whatever the scores, but that’s incorrect. If you look at the games releasing in the next 12 months, many of then carry enough weight to eschew the traditional pre-release review pantomime. We have Halo, Call of Duty, BioShock, Assassin’s Creed and plenty more. They’ll all be great. They’ll all sell. And they all have the opportunity to back up Blizzard’s mould-breaking move with Diablo III and leave the reviews until post-ship.

Reviews written after launch, especially those for games which feature a heavy online component, are more accurate and less susceptible to being tainted by publisher control. For the most savvy consumers in the games space – yes, that’s you – that means you’re going to get better reviews from unhurried experts. For those less engaged with specialist online media, the timing of reviews makes no difference whatsoever: they were always going to buy it based on marketing spend.

That kid? That’s you. And us. And them.

Which begs some questions: shouldn’t launch reviews be dropped for major games? Does Metacritic really matter? And can we envisage an age when we won’t be hanging off out-of-ten scores like some deranged giganto-toddler vampiring milk on a Time cover?

Diablo III may not be an indicator that publishers are about to make the move en bloc just yet. It’s impossible to deny that Blizzard has a rabid fanbase and is capable of selling in tens of millions of units no matter the scores. But this episode clearly shows that the notion of giving journalists pre-release code for certain games is irrelevant, and in many cases can be actively damaging. In this instance, then, Metacritic really doesn’t matter. It hasn’t affected sales, and no one was predicting some kind of creative disaster because Blizzard hadn’t set up some kind of pre-release review system.

I’d like to hope that companies like Microsoft, Sony, EA, Activision and the rest will be looking closely at how Blizzard released Diablo III, and genuinely, seriously starting to push back on Metacritic as a measure of success. The truth is that huge games don’t need launch reviews. The idea that someone can review a giant game with online play at a weekend event, or in a few days at home with offline public servers, is idiotic. By standing up to the perceived notion that there “has” to be a launch review, large publishers will do a service to consumers looking to make informed choices about games and remove opportunities for cynics to claim scores were bought.

In this article written in the wake of the “h8 out of 10″ fiasco last year, I said: “Publishers do want reviews up for launch because it’s a norm in the games world and looks suspect otherwise, and they want scores live for consumers looking to make their minds up on launch day, but they need high scores.”

It’s clear the “norm” needs to be challenged for the good of objectivity. Make great games and market the ass off them: you’ll get good day one sales and high scores based on properly considered opinion. Obviously, this doesn’t work as well for “double-A” games, but if those wincingly elevated day one review scores are based on artificial, forced circumstances, aren’t we all just making ourselves look stupid for being party to the entire process?

Diablo III’s success, and its giant middle finger to Metacritic, is a clear indication of the answer.

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78 Comments

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  1. Patrick Garratt

    I’m patlike#1682. Add me, add me.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. endgame

    And how more than 2 million players turned their back towards their fellows and decided to start supporting DRM. Well done guys! You’ve made history.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. DarkElfa

    I just want to high five the kid on that cover.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Patrick Garratt

    @3 – :D

    #4 2 years ago
  5. BULArmy

    Very good article. Yes Blizz didn’t need any reviews to generate additional hype and in my opinion even if there were pre-release reviews and the score was that they wouldn’t lose sales.

    Actually every review in my mind that didn’t played the whole game once alone, co-op and at least with 2 or even three of the characters is not worth a penny as a opinion.

    P.S.Adding you Patrick. It is nice to see game journalist that don’t think they can’t play with us mortals.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Patrick Garratt

    @5 – I’m all about the mortals. I’ll approve when I’m next on.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. silkvg247

    @1 Sent :) I’m Silk#2209.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Prof.Dr.Moertel

    “Does Metacritic really matter?”
    It did for the Obsidian guys…. But it really shouldn’t. I don’t care about some random scores anyway, I care about the opinions of writers I know and appreciate.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Patrick Garratt

    @9 – Yep, that was horrible. It shouldn’t be used as a defining metric, in my opinion.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Patrick Garratt

    @7 – Cool! I’ll approve when I’m on later.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. YoungZer0

    @2: For me, that’s what it’s all about. Nothing else matters.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. cloud_ix

    An excellent show of this industries immaturity Patrick

    #12 2 years ago
  13. kingofscotland

    Pat nailed it when he talked about suspicion, if a game comes out and there are no reviews, I and many others are suspicious that it’s actually not very good and they don’t want people canceling their pre-orders.

    I think there needs to be more transparency and review online/offline seperate (offline = pre release, online = post release).

    For me who’s not overly bothered with Online, would COD get 9s for offline – NO (yes I’m one of the 7 people who played the campaign mode)

    Likewise if you’re the kind of player who doesn’t play through single player and skips straight to online then you are only interested in how that portion of the game stacks up, and this can only be done accurately and honestly in public servers when all highlights and frustrations will become clear, LAN parties laid on by publishers is a false environment.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Kabby

    It proves is that a blind sale of a hugely anticipated title will sell a lot of copies. Whether post release reviews give such titles a 2/10 is irrelevant because they have your money.

    It is essentially going back to a time when people had to buy magazines or blindly risk their cash on a new game.

    I personally feel this launch exploits fans good will towards Blizzard to facilitate a real money auction house. I have no doubt Blizzard have made a tidy sum but I’m not so sure the launch itself will be remembered as a success due the the server issues.

    I look forward seeing some post release interviews with the guys at Blizzard.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. sleaker

    The article writer fails on multiple levels. This article is all opinion, and has little factual basis. Meta-critic, and other factors HAVE played a negative role in sales in Diablo 3. If the reviews on metacritic had been more favorable I would have given Diablo 3 a second chance, and possibly bought it. Now , that’s not even going to happen.

    Second, just because game sales on a title are good or seem to be a lot, does not quantify the number of lost sales the game incurred. I can tell you that myself and every one of my friends cancelled our pre-orders. I’m sure there were many other people that did this. and as someone else mentioned could have been a very very high number (2 mill elsewhere?) – until you actually do a survey and collect data on how many people were interested but skipped purchasing, or bought the game despite reviews you can’t say that Metacritic or blizzard’s choices haven’t affected them. Obviously they have, and saying they haven’t affected sales just because the product was profitable is not a good way to ‘report’ if that’s what you’re trying to do.

    I look more at consumer reviews on products than magazine reviews, and while magazine/game site reviews don’t seem overly useful except to tell what features the game might have, the consumer reviews often provide a perspective you don’t get. While they may not be useful in the sense of the x/10 ratings, I find them useful none-the-less.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Johnny Cullen

    That TIME cover disturbed me the first time I seen it a few weeks back, it still disturbs me now.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. YoungZer0

    @16: Far as i know the boy is three now. Just think about when he’s in highschool and his class mates find that cover.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. NeoSquall

    @17 in high school? he might become his male classmates’ hero, but not so much for the female ones…

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Klaxusprime

    Great piece Pat, we should go back to demos (accessible to anyone and truly democratic) instead on relying on this pseudo-aristocracy, inefficient and self-referential. The first Diablo had a demo, and it drove the game’s success.. any of you is old enough to remember it?

    #19 2 years ago
  20. YoungZer0

    @18: Because he sucked his moms tits when he was 3 years old? That’s his real mom, if you didn’t know.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. DrDamn

    @15
    “Meta-critic, and other factors HAVE played a negative role in sales in Diablo 3 … until you actually do a survey and collect data on how many people were interested but skipped purchasing, or bought the game despite reviews you can’t say that Metacritic or blizzard’s choices haven’t affected them.”

    So until you do a survey you can’t say they haven’t played a negative role, but you can say they HAVE. Right …

    #21 2 years ago
  22. GrimRita

    All I will say is, if studios spent as much time actually releasing a FINISHED product, instead of spending so much time barting with specialist media to guarantee a high ‘review’ score no matter how shit the product is, the gaming world will be a better place for it.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Llewelyn_MT

    Actually nobody can (or will ever be able to) tell if Metacritic has any weight on the sales of Diablo 3. The fact is people who wanted to get it preodered and paid beforehand without looking at the obvious faults. I wouldn’t get a game that lags in single player, especially one including permanent character death (on Hardcore).

    If anyone was given a middle finger by Blizzard here it’s the blind mob of fans, that proved once again that no matter what crap you throw on market there are always those who’d pay premium to have it anyway. I wish people could make reasonable choices. (Disclaimer: Since I couldn’t play D3 beta due to Error Pick-A-Number I’m solely referring to the game-breaking DRM.)

    #23 2 years ago
  24. TheWulf

    The problem is is that many people bought Diablo III based upon the marketing and the name. I find that marketing agencies frequently tap dance on the edge of collective will, and people are frequently convinced to buy things without any of the facts.

    Give them a few CGI movies and make a lot of noises about how EPIC it is, and they’ll buy it. It works like a charm, just as it’s been working for Blizzard for a while now. Starcraft II was just Starcraft HD, but people bought it expecting a big, new thing because Blizzard told them it would be. Diablo III is a more restrictive, very watered-down, mediocre, and somewhat broken version of Diablo II. But hey, Blizzard said it was this big, new thing!

    What we saw in the wake of Diablo III is that there were a lot of people who were pissed off, and that there was this cabal that was going around defending Diablo III because cognitive dissonance. You can’t really say anything good about Diablo III.

    If you could, TotalBiscuit would have already said it. He’s usually an incredibly positive, optimistic person. And he ruthlessly panned DIII for being more than a bit shite. And he was right to do so. You can defend it, but you can’t defend it based upon anything that has any relation to reality. It is ultimately just an incredibly mediocre, broken game.

    A mediocre, broken game that you paid $60 for. This is where cognitive dissonance comes into play. You’ll always have some people who don’t want to admit that they put down $60 on something like this, they’re going to try their best to have fun with it, and then, when the illusion created by cognitive dissonance ends, they’ll be more pissed off than anyone.

    And lately, the voices of people being pissed have drowned out those suffering cognitive dissonance. People are realising now how much of a massive waste of money Diablo III was, after having forced themselves to try some fun in it.

    Conversely, I’ve been playing the Torchlight II beta, which I paid zero pennies for, and it’s really loads of fun! I’m having a blast with it. And it won’t cost $60, it won’t be completely broken (DRM), and it’s being designed by people who understand what fun is. No cognitive dissonance for me as I hadn’t laid down money for TLII yet, I was waiting to try it first. So I got into the beta and it’s been a laugh.

    The combat is meaty, the weapons all have proper feedback, it’s actually difficult and you do have to dodge out of the way of attacks (you can’t just sit there and spam attacks a la DIII), and unlike DIII the environments are all varied and different, and not washed out at all. There’s a ghost pirate ship in Torchlight II. Sorry, DIII, you lose because ghost pirate ship.

    TLII just has this massive sense of fun, and that’s what makes it rise above the mediocrity of Diablo III. With DIII they played it safe, they kept it almost monotone, the gameplay is just dull clickery, and there’s nothing that makes you sit up in your seat and think “Hey, that’s really fun!”

    So, yeah.

    Diablo III might be selling, but has it been well received?

    No, no it has not.

    I think Runic Games’ strategy to pick up all the customers who’re pissed at DIII is a wise one. Because frankly? TLII is fantastic in all the areas where DIII is so tremendously mediocre and broken.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. TheWulf

    “All I will say is, if studios spent as much time actually releasing a FINISHED product, instead of spending so much time barting with specialist media to guarantee a high ‘review’ score no matter how shit the product is, the gaming world will be a better place for it.”

    Exactly that, really.

    But you know how it is… if you take a well known name and market the fuck out of it, then people will buy it in droves and then try to convince themselves that it’s actually not an entirely mediocre, dull, and broken game.

    That’s the way it has been, and I don’t see it changing any time soon. It’s absolute proof that the majority of humanity is made up of people who never actually bother to use their mind to analyse. Had they bothered to analyse the media up to launch as I did, they’d not be suffering buyer’s remorse.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. OlderGamer

    Spot on Wulf.

    On everything. And your right TLII is alot of fun.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. viralshag

    @24, What on earth are you basing this garbage you’re spewing all over the pages of this site on?

    “Diablo III might be selling, but has it been well received?

    No, no it has not.”

    By who? Please point me in the direction of 2 million thumbs down.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. endgame

    Well said Wulf! :)

    #28 2 years ago
  29. OlderGamer

    @Viral

    “By who? Please point me in the direction of 2 million thumbs down.”

    Well start counting with me: One.

    I mean really, if your asking yourself why so many people seem to be thinking this or say this, might be something to it.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. endgame

    @27 “but has it been well received?”” Oh I don’t know, MAYBE he’s thinking of the Metacritic user reviews. Some people you can’t buy that easy. Like they did with you.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. Patrick Garratt

    Here’s the Eurogamer review: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-05-21-diablo-3-review

    #31 2 years ago
  32. viralshag

    @29, But you’re making out every single buyer of the game is unhappy with the product. You yourself said the following on this site earlier:

    “Something to maybe keep in mind is that for every gamer that visits forums(here or a place like at Blizzard) there are untold masses that play the same game that don’t visit forums. Most gamers can’t be bothered with checking forums all of the time, or even bothered to post if they do. Most people are very content to just play the games. But if you based your pov on forums, and then started thinking that those people posting represented everyone that plays, you would be very misguided.”

    So please tell me, what are you and TheWulf basing this mass unhappiness on? On the 1,500 negative votes on Metacritic? Please give me a break, one minute people throw it out the window as useless next it represents how well a game is received? BS.

    @30, Yeah, they did buy me, they paid me off in what has been nearly 60 hours of fun.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. YoungZer0

    @24: I mostly agree with you, but jeez, get off your high horse, man.

    Torchlight II BETA is absolutely amazing. I will definitely go and buy it, it’s cheap and it’s fun. But it’s not without failure. The story is horribly boring and the art-direction is still, well a lot like Torchlight 1. Either you love it, or you hate it.

    I’m one of the few people who actually cares about that. It has it’s own personality, i love the colors and the environments, but the cartoon characters are just … i dunno, lazy. It’s lazy. And while playing it, i just couldn’t help but feel that Diablo 3 looks better.

    I know a lot of people who just look at the art-style and without even known what the word ‘art-direction’ means would dismiss it, just for the cartoon characters. I still think that something like Dragon Age 2 in the same cellshading-look would be fantastic.

    They aren’t going to change that, and that’s definitely one of the reasons why people don’t pick it up. I think a more mature-looking art-style wouldn’t have hurt the game at all.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. endgame

    @32 Really? So you renounced your existence for “nearly 60 hours of fun.”? Was that all? Well, it seems that you’re pretty cheap.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. viralshag

    @34, I never said I was finished.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. Patrick Garratt

    Not trolling, but how is it broken? I know it had a rough few days, but it seems completely fine now. Am I missing something?

    #36 2 years ago
  37. Gekidami

    Hey Pat, you’re on the Jimquisition at 1:16:
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/5743-You-Should-Be-Mad-at-Diablo-IIIs-Always-Online-DRM

    #37 2 years ago
  38. OlderGamer

    Viral, it is almost always like that.

    I am talking about the % of players that are driven to online sites or game websites represent a smaller section of the games over all player base.

    I think it would be foolish to say that of the 2 million Diablo III copies sold that all or even most of the players don’t like the game. Just like it would be overly niave to assume that those same 2 million buyers are in love with the game just because they bought it.

    When you do visit dedicated game sites(like this one) or even Blizzards own forums, you will find a LOT of people complaining about the game. And you run into the typical “Defender Force” as you often do online. But the complants are there, and in large number. Maybe even larger then expected. Larger then most games.

    And regaurdless of the gamers opinion of the game, there are likly a majority of the games buyers that do NOT visit those forums. That is what I was saying. I was never implying that all 2 million diablo III owners hate the game. Only pointing out that the game has been flooded online with complaints and that likly their are a lot more people that don’t take to the internet to complain but yet are still very unhappy with the game.

    As for Pats question, the only part of the game I could view as out right broken was the servers going down. Everything else is working as intended.

    While I am not loving some of the games mechanics, spell selections, crafting balance, variety of mobs, stage settings, lack of stats, lack of skill trees, Auction House, lack of offline, lack of lan, etc… I do believe that those things are working as intended.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. YoungZer0

    @37: Never watched his channel before. Looks like he got a new viewer, because i can agree about everything he said in that video.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. GwynbleiddiuM

    I really loved it Pat, thanks. /High5

    #40 2 years ago
  41. Patrick Garratt

    @37 – Ha! Awesome. I’ll look in a bit.

    #41 2 years ago
  42. OlderGamer

    Same here, never heard of him before, but damn that was funny!

    And for what is worth, I agree with him.

    #42 2 years ago
  43. BULArmy

    For the ppl whining, stop saying things you have said 1 million times. We heard you can you leave us the ppl who enjoy the game alone and not try to makes us guilty for some reasons. If a 1500 whiners on that pisshole Metacritic are serious opinions(MP3 end was spoiled by some idiot there?!) If you don’t want problems with your SP game, come next month, there will be no problems with the servers.

    Also go fuckin’ look at the other options that are here. The DRM as a anti-cheat thing, it can be. D2 cheating was as easy as stealing a candy from a baby. For now I really can’t see someone cheating, of course PvP will be the ultimate test for that statement.

    And tell me with a hand over your heart that you are genuinely upset that you have to really buy the game in order to play? Because I am absolutely sure that some of the whiners here and on the ton of other sites are also pirates.

    Some will say I am a fanboy, but fuck you. Whining and bitching led us to what the industry is now. Even when you are given a product that can rarely be matched in quality you must find an excuse to moan and be angry at something. Be angry with Ubisoft, because they have shown the middle finger on the PC community long time ago and their always on DRM was just the last nail in the coffin, but Blizzard, which always have respected the PC as a platform and are one of the last staples of PC gaming, where we get so much value for our money, that they really can ask from us even $100 for the game.

    #43 2 years ago
  44. fusion360

    The problem with negative user reviews on a site like Metacritic is that people are rating the game, most of the time, on a single flaw. Something ticked them off or they feel they’ve been wronged… and they immediately give it a 0, 1, or 2 (at best).

    It’s a lot more common for angry gamers to post a negative review than happy reviewers to post a positive one, because they have the time (since they’ve stopped playing the game) and the motivation (grrrr, ME ANGRY) to do so. A happy gamer doesn’t feel compelled to post a positive review most of the time because they’re at least content with the game.

    Honestly, it’s a lot like protesting. People only protest when they feel something is wrong in the world or whatever. Very rarely does a large crowd of people gather for the sole purpose of congratulating something. It is the same situation here.

    That said, the “DRM” argument is shoddy at best. They made it damn clear MONTHS ahead of time that the game would require a constant internet connection. It’s not so they can control who plays the game (btw, it’s already been cracked and there are non-blizzard servers running), but it’s so they can control the experience that legitimate players have.

    By requiring an online connection, a lot of the itemization and so forth is stored and generated server-side. This prevents item hacking and duping from being rampant like it was in Diablo 2. Diablo 2′s economy became so messed up that an item became the only valid form of currency (the SoJ, or Stone of Jordan). When you’re trading “25 SoJs for Tal Rune” or something, you know the economy is effed, and it was all thanks to exploits and dupes.

    Yes, it sucks that there is no offline mode, but who doesn’t have an internet connection (and a fast one at that) nowadays? I know, you could play Diablo 3 where there is no internet… but hey, if there’s no internet, maybe you should step away from the computer and do something else for a change of pace. The game will be there when you get back.

    By no means am I defending Blizzard blindly as a “fanboy”. I have played and judged the game on its own merits; it stands on its own. They’ve put an incredible amount of detail and thought into the game, and it is a really great experience if that style of game is up your alley. You either love it or hate it, and I think the hype of Diablo 3 got the better of some people and they are just mad they spend $60 on a game they don’t fundamentally like. It’s not a problem with the content of the game itself.

    #44 2 years ago
  45. endgame

    @35 Oh I’m sorry if I thought that you were bought for only 60 hours of.. “fun”. I apologize. :))

    @37 So what Jim is saying.. well, that’s pretty much common sense which EVERYONE should have! Oh, wait! :)

    @43 Feeling guilty and rather dirty are we? That’s phase 1. It’s called “denial”.

    @44 Angry customers have the time (and right) to post bad reviews because they are denied of playing the game. Oh wait! Scratch that. I thought I was talking to someone somewhat intelligent and then I reached the 4th paragraph and everything became clear. I’m sorry for thinking that your IQ is high enough to understand a proper point of view.

    #45 2 years ago
  46. YoungZer0

    Eurogamer is already reporting of hacked accounts and all that. What’s wrong Blizzard, i thought you wanted to protect people here? :P

    Considering that the auction house will be coming soon too and you have the recipe for a disaster.

    #46 2 years ago
  47. Talkar

    @1
    I’m Talkar#2516 :P

    #47 2 years ago
  48. Phoenixblight

    @46

    THats people aren’t using the services that Blizzard offers like mobile authenticator and the one that tracks where you log in from and if someone logs in from a drastically different place it locks the account and texts you.

    #48 2 years ago
  49. OlderGamer

    Diablo III just went down again in NA.

    #49 2 years ago
  50. OlderGamer

    PB people prolly don’t realize that their 60usd Diablo III purchase came with a free Athenticator. Why don’t you tell them where they can get one of those?

    Oh they cost money?

    Oh you mean the ones for a smart phone! Right, tell the folks at home where you can sign up and have blizzard send you a free smart phone too…

    Oh wait..

    lol, sorry man, I know I am being a smart ass there. But, and call me crazy, I think protecting your online game accounts should be included in the 60usd paid for the game.

    PB is right tho, if your not playing with some form of authenticator, your playing with fire. If you have a smart phone download the free battlenet app. if you don’t have a smart phone the key chain ones are like 8usd and for sale on the blizzard store.

    Get one, you will need it.

    #50 2 years ago
  51. YoungZer0

    @48: Ah, so it’s their fault. Good to know.

    #51 2 years ago
  52. Phoenixblight

    “Oh they cost money?

    Oh you mean the ones for a smart phone! Right, tell the folks at home where you can sign up and have blizzard send you a free smart phone too…

    Oh wait..”

    You don’t need a smart phone to have one it works on majority of phones now days especially if you have updated in the last year. Just ignoring that and going for the service that tracks where you log in is good enough. I can tell you my wife doesn’t have an authenticator but she does use that service and she hasn’t been hacked ever where I was hacked 3 times prior to getting an authenticator and the service.

    Not to mention you need to take care of your online accounts I even went with making an email account specifically for Blizzard related stuff and making an unique password just for bnet along with changing it every 2-3 months.

    #52 2 years ago
  53. loki

    oh lol just admit what diablo 3 sux

    #53 2 years ago
  54. Phoenixblight

    @51

    Yeah in a way it is for not taking care of their stuff, is it Blizzard’s fault that someone doesn’t use features that they have access to or change their passwords. Blizzard is a corporation and can’t keep track of every single persons activity at once especially so if someone isn’t taking care of their part.

    #54 2 years ago
  55. OlderGamer

    I wonder if the Diablo III accounts will be attacked the way the Wow ones were/are. I would imagine so, considering the fact that real money value is attached to peoples in game items. Thats often the biggest motivation right there.

    #55 2 years ago
  56. Hunam

    They already are OG, http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-05-21-diablo-3-accounts-hacked-gold-and-items-stolen

    #56 2 years ago
  57. OlderGamer

    Damn Hunam, knew it was only going to be a matter of time. But the hackers got their stuff going faster then Blizzard did.

    “Blizzard offers an Authenticator designed to provide extra security to your account. Donlan did not have the authenticator before the hack, but reports suggest accounts have been compromised even with this enabled.”

    That is scary stuff right there. If the authenticator won’t stop them…

    #57 2 years ago
  58. jacobvandy

    To be fair, I’m sure a lot of the “hacking” that goes on with Blizzard titles has to do with people being stupid and falling for phishing attempts. Just having a B.net account will get you spammed with tons of emails claiming to be about your WoW account (of which I have none) or from Blizzard saying you need to change your password, etc. I’m sure they’ve already changed their tactics to target Diablo 3; they’d probably have loads of success promising an exclusive method for playing the game offline or something.

    #58 2 years ago
  59. fusion360

    @45 Wow, really? I’m unintelligent because my opinion differs from yours? I think with that statement you’ve made it clear that logic is not involved in your hatred. I don’t understand why you took my post as an attack against you (or your opinion), since I wasn’t even addressing you to begin with.

    I fail to see, from a purely objective standpoint, how you can complain after the fact about something you explicitly agreed to purchase. There is a TOS and EULA; you agreed to them. If you decide later that you don’t agree, contact Blizzard for a refund and deprive them of your $60. Just don’t use that as the basis of your argument for why people shouldn’t purchase the product if you want to be taken seriously.

    #59 2 years ago
  60. endgame

    Wow! More history in the making! First, massive support for DRM! Power to the corporations!! And now.. I think loki is right. This is how low we ended up.

    #60 2 years ago
  61. Hunam

    On one hand, going against metacritic is good, because it is too reliant, not so far as saying 88% is a low score, because that’s lunacy to say, but it does rear it’s head too much.

    But this just reminds me of that lunatic Namco Bandai PR guy who was like “I can’t wait for reviews to go” because it literally means that people like him gain more power and more bad games will sell more because of marketing. Reviews are good, pre-release reviews are good. OK, not the way they are done, in hotels on microsofts time and dime, but trying to fuck reviews off all together is just idiotic for the consumer to go along with as they lose out.

    Then again… time and time again as Blizzard have just shown, gamers are so desperate that you can make a great game and then hobble the fucking shit out of it with DRM and badly thought out features and people will still buy 2 million plus.

    #61 2 years ago
  62. DSB

    The problem really isn’t Metacritic, the problem is the lack of competent critics to feed it. Metacritic collects data, and it’s responsible for presenting it in a truthful and representative way, but the source of the problem is the reviewers who don’t know what they’re doing.

    Obviously, an 88 is a stellar score for a game, if you look at it on its own. The problem is that you shouldn’t. An 88 on Rotten Tomatoes would be close to a must-have movie. Even on Metacritics TV section, an 88 would be a stellar show. In the game section however, an 88 is mediocre. 12 percentage points short of perfection = Halfassed game.

    That’s not Metacritics fault. Even though you can argue with the wisdom of using an average of scores, that don’t actually share the same scale, what makes it untrustworthy is that games reviewers have managed to write their whole profession into the ground, to the point where those scales fail to make any sense. And the reviews often aren’t much better.

    Pats point rings kinda hollow since the 88 is really only caused by that one 60′ish review. It’s hardly a corps of critics calling it like they see it, and more like one guy with the balls to punish them for a pretty shoddy launch.

    #62 2 years ago
  63. absolutezero

    Metacritic shines when every supposed professional review reads like a slightly different worded version of each other and the user reviews are the opposite.

    Then Metacritic fails when reviews start appearing with perfect scores written by people traceable back to the game developer.

    Oh and D3 is broken because its a single player game which is going to have server down-time. Thats broken and fucked beyond belief. 2 million people bought that.

    Fuck those 2 million people.

    #63 2 years ago
  64. Gekidami

    “2 million people bought that.

    Fuck those 2 million people.”

    Why didnt they just read about these problems in reviews, or just read about the fact the game isnt all that great, which is what a lot of reviews seem to be saying? …Oh right, no reviews were out when people brought the game.

    All i can say is i really like Resident Evil. Why does that matter? Well, whilst i always thought Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City looked iffy, i would have still brought it. Hell, i’d gotten pretty much every other Resident Evil game till then. But along came the day one reviews saying the game sucked beyond buyable levels, and my money was saved. The same happened with the Resident Evil 4 & Code Veronica HD re releases which -as day one reviews informed me- werent really all that ‘HD’. And lets not forget the Silent Hill Collection, now i didnt intend to get this because of the lack of SH4 but who knows, i really like SH2 & 3, yet informed by day one reviews, the ports were shoddy. Money save! These were all ‘big’ name franchises, right?

    So now heres Pat, suggesting publishers remove the ability for gaming sites to inform me on whether i should get a game or not on day one. Say Pat, if as a result of your advice, i end up going off only what publishers say and get a game that sucks, will you refund me?

    #64 2 years ago
  65. Erthazus

    Not a good game? Oh ok. You never played it to begin with.

    the only thing that reviewers don’t like is “Online issue” and “28 hours for Normal difficulty setting”, that’s it. Everything else is polished and done right.

    Diablo III is a solid title.

    #65 2 years ago
  66. manamana

    Isn’t it clear, that when it comes to spending money, you make up your own opinion on the matter? So how, as a gamer, is your opinion made up? I would say by recommendations of friends who, and thats important, share your gaming taste. Than comes media reviews, and I apply the same rules here as with my friends, knowing, which journalist matches my tastes in the past. Only, that I need to read and watch more carefully to make up a decision, because you know, they aren’t my friends…… And than you have the user reviews, which are, especially on metacritic, often a “real life” comment by core gamers. They’ve already spend money on a game and they usually know what they are talking about. As always, you have to read a lot, to get an idea of that product.

    Or, you can pre-order every game you hope to be good, believe what the hype tries to sell and don’t look back with no buyers remorse.

    Edit: damn, I forgot a demo. A demo is absolutely useful to form an opinion….

    #66 2 years ago
  67. Erthazus

    I don’t care about reviews anymore for example because they are full of corruption and i can’t take them all seriously, as DSB said

    “Obviously, an 88 is a stellar score for a game, if you look at it on its own. The problem is that you shouldn’t. An 88 on Rotten Tomatoes would be close to a must-have movie. Even on Metacritics TV section, an 88 would be a stellar show. In the game section however, an 88 is mediocre. 12 percentage points short of perfection = Halfassed game.”

    My opinion is made up by my own experience (oldschool gamer), favorite developer and my best friend. Also, news sites like VG247 or Gametrailers that supports majority of videogame trailers helps me to decide if i want to buy a game. Sometimes marketing campaign helps me to decide to buy a game if it is flashy enough… i can’t do something about it. Devs just need to make a fantastic trailer and i will probably buy it in the end. I like games and blockbuster games and can’t miss them even if it has low score on metacritic.

    Metacritic is not irrelevant. It’s good, but videogame section is full of corrupt practices. Every month, almost every week we get a stellar game or a masterpiece. It’s like videogame industry is without any flaws at all.

    P.S. Hilarious thing is that a lot of journalists ignore shitty games with low budget and these games also require some serious attention. They are the same games as blockbuster games.

    #67 2 years ago
  68. manamana

    ^ the last time I lost money on a pre-ordered game, based on what you said, was brink. That was the last time I pre-ordered a game. The Last Of Us is getting a pre-order, even if it would be a 5/10 btw.

    #68 2 years ago
  69. Erthazus

    ^ Same situation. But i was lucky enough playing something else to be bothered with preorder, though i wanted this game because these guys were behind Quake Wars
    2-5 days later my friends told me that it was crap, then i looked at the reviews and opinions and etc.

    ” The Last Of Us is getting a pre-order, even if it would be a 5/10 btw.”

    Ahh, it won’t. In the world of corruption practices in the videogame industry it’s impossible for The Last Of Us to get a score lower then 90% on metacritic. Even if it is a real piece of garbage with shiny visuals.
    Naughty Dog hype is in full motion right now. If you ask journalists “What to do you think about Naughty Dog?” Their answer will be^ “OMG, Damn!11 Amazing! Shocking” etc.

    #69 2 years ago
  70. DSB

    @66 I agree with all of that, but honestly critics should be able to fill a larger role than they do when it comes to videogames.

    I think the best critics out there are the ones that are instantly familiar to you, whether you like them or not. A critic is supposed to fill the role of your friend, telling it like it is, being disappointed with things even though they’re popular, or being thrilled with things in spite of their flaws. Or they can fill the role of that guy you hate, who always gets it wrong, and always emphasizes the wrong things, which will still make their review quite useful in terms of how you might feel about the things they hate or prefer.

    The vast majority of videogame critics just aren’t that good, and I think it’s interesting that you underline the fact that there’s a difference between your friend, who pays for a game, and a reviewer, who is spoonfed it.

    A reviewer who is impressed with his level of access, or the junk he’s given is fucking lousy at his job. And sadly I think that goes for a lot of them out there.

    #70 2 years ago
  71. ImprovV

    WTF?!?! An 88 aggregate is a kiss of death for a AAA game? Are you insane?! An 88%…are you freaking kidding me. That is somehow bad? So any game that doesn’t receive a 90% on metacritic is a failure? Let’s see what other game didn’t get a 90% average yet sold millions of copies…hmmm. Oh that’s right! Modern Warfare 3, Black Ops, Battlefield 3, Max Payne 3, Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2, Witcher 2, Borderlands, SWTOR etc. Every single one of those games have sold millions of copies. CoD of course selling what 25 million in a day?

    It’s also rubbish of you to think that a 90% game means insta sales. How many critically acclaimed games have bombed? Ico, Okami, Beyond Good & Evil. Need I go on? Not to mention the fact that actual rubbish games sell millions of copies. IE: Resident Evil and the 50 metacritic score it has.

    I just don’t know if you are trolling or what. This age of a game must be a 90 or its fail is ridiculous. Also, the game would’ve been at a 90% if it wasn’t for that one 65% review. So just because ONE reviewer thought it was average and brought the score down the game is a failure critic wise? Just my god i don’t even know what to think. Wow…this article reeks of stupidity. I have never ever heard of a game getting a 88% aggregate be bestowed with a title of kiss of death to its sales or that it’s a bad game. Dear God…please don’t write anymore. You are part of the problem this industry is facing. That just because a game isn’t a 90% aggregate from a flawed system that contains scores from literally 100 different sites and opinions with no quality control means it failed review wise.

    And look PC gamer review up. A 90%. But wait the average would still be an 88% on metacritic. What a failure game! OMG. Kids…if you get 88% on your tests you are a failure at life. GTFO.

    PS: At least check your facts. Eurogamer reviewed it. 9/10

    #71 2 years ago
  72. Cobra951

    Did I read that right? The article’s point is that review aggregates are meaningless if they don’t affect the *sales* of a game? That’s news to me. I thought the point of reviews was to evaluate the *quality* of games.

    #72 2 years ago
  73. Da Man

    Journos who review videogames are pretty much useless and they’re nothing short of necessary evil.

    #73 2 years ago
  74. sleaker

    @21 – You can’t say that something has not had an affect without asking questions, or doing research on the subject. I can turn around and say it HAS affected it using my own personal experience because it did influence me. I don’t need to do anymore research to show that metacritic has at the minimum affected my decision to purchase this game, and by extensions, affected those friends which I dissuaded from the purchase.

    the article author, being the journalist, has the burden of proof when he makes a statement on how a gaming website designed to help influence purchasing decisions has not been doing so. I find it a bit ridiculous that someone can sit back and say that a review website that gets a good deal of traffic does not affect consumer’s buying decisions at all. And because of this doubt, and my own personal choices, am calling bullshit on select statements given in this article because they have no factual basis whatsoever.

    #74 2 years ago
  75. Andrae92

    I’m going to try my best to be fair, while still trying to get my own opinion of the game across to those who care to take a gander. First, let me start off by saying that it’s not Blizzard’s intention to piss anyone off by putting in place a DRM that forces you to be online. If you think this a game changer, and won’t buy the game for that reason. Good luck. Life isn’t going to go the way you want it to. People aren’t going to give you whatever you want. In fact, most of the time, unless you bust your ass, you won’t ever get what you want. Dealing with things like an adult and being happy that you can even afford to blow $60 on a fucking game should be enough for you selfish little punks. So to all those who have such a hard time swallowing the pill that is big business, suck it up. It’s not going anywhere any time soon. Diablo III, IN MY OPINION, is a great game. Full of features and replayability and well worth the money. If you don’t like it, fuck off. Go play your facebook MMO’s and stupid smartphone games and leave the real gaming to those who can appreciate it. I’ve poured countless hours into the first two games as well as the expansion for Diablo II. I have been nothing but satisfied with this release. Going back to the DRM, it’s a security measure. Blizzard decided that piracy and account comprimisation were too much of a threat to not try it out. And you know what, who the fuck cares that you have to be online all the time! Where are you going to play Diablo other then your home? In the car? On a plane? In the park? Read a book for Christ’s sake. If you can’t be away from your game enough to enjoy the finer things in life, maybe you should spend your money elsewhere and not on video games. I’ve already put 30+ hours into the game, which is far less than most players already. That’s because I have a life other than Diablo. And I have many other games besides Diablo. So what if Blizzard forces you to be online. It’s not like they’re going to steal your shit. You just gave them $60. If anything they’re just trying to help you out. Oh, and to those who DO play video games all the damn time, I have nothing against it. But I do think you should try to get out more. It’s physically unhealthy to lock yourself up in your room for hours on end almost never leaving the house. Your body needs sunlight to operate properly. If you didn’t know that, look it up. Science is a bitch. Anyway, back to my point. Why are so many of you so jaded? It’s the same shit with movies. People are so spoiled by what the media has thrown at us as well as how you approach things of this nature, that you stop giving a shit. If we were to show Diablo III to Blizzard 15 years ago, they would have shit their pants. Look back 10.. no 5 YEARS ago, and see how far games and entertainment have come. Blizzard is a huge company and if what they’re doing seems a little mainstream, do some homework. From day 1 any company that makes money has only done what other people are doing. Breaking boundaries and shattering expectations. Blizzard is no different. With every release, it’s fresh and amazing. StarCraft II is like StarCraft with a new graphics engine and gameplay tweaks, which is PERFECT! The style of gameplay is what made these games so damn fun in the first place, so why not build on it instead of trying to make a different game. If Diablo III played anything other than how it does, I would be angry and Blizzard for not calling it something else. It wouldn’t be Diablo anymore. So until they make a game of a different name, don’t expect them to change their game. They shouldn’t have to. But little prissy bitches like all of you complain so much that lesser companies are forced to change their game, and then they go to shit. I’m proud of Blizzard ignoring Metacritic. Or any other form of numeric scale that puts their game on trial. Companies shouldn’t completely ignore reviewers, but they do need to reserve their feelings about it in order to create as they please instead of trying to cater to a bunch of money hungry ass-clowns with no respect for what games truly are. An art style. Game designers are artists too. And in this day and age, creativity is just another way to make a quick buck. Look at music. Even the underground shit that I listen to is starting to go a little mainstream. Rap used to be respectable, until the media saw it as a way to make money. Now everything is electro this and dubstep that. Take your heads out of your asses and look at the bigger picture. Learn to appreciate shit instead of comparing everything. See the uniqueness in games instead of what makes it worse than the other. Maybe then gaming can return to what it used to be back in the day.

    #75 2 years ago
  76. Phoenixblight

    Wow I thought Wulf was bad about posting his ego drivel but this guy takes the cake and look no indenting or helping with readability. The likelihood of someone reading that is slim to none.

    #76 2 years ago
  77. IL DUCE

    Yes they did

    #77 2 years ago
  78. Andrae92

    (Indent)Phoenix, I wasn’t intending to post my ego, as you put it. Forgive me if passion doesn’t strike your fancy. I’ve read through many a forum just to see the same crap over and over. Just because no one else here has said what I’ve said, in as many words, doesn’t mean they’re not thinking the same thing. I’m sure you can understand that. I’ve read your comments as well and I respect what you have to say. Maybe you should try to respect what I have to say as well. You don’t have to read it, obviously, but don’t downcast what I have to say simply because you feel like you need to boost your OWN ego. Ignorance is a two way street my friend.

    (Indent)Anyway, if you want a short version, stop bitching. If you don’t like the game, move on with your life and play something else but don’t blame Blizzard for not catering to your own preference. That’s not their job. They don’t get paid to make games that make EVERYONE happy. Diablo itself is a very unique flavor in the icecream shop of video games. It takes a unique palette to enjoy such a game. Much is true with most any game. So to say, “Diablo sucks because it doesn’t have what I like in it.” Is like saying “I don’t like the sun because it’s too bright.” It sounds just as stupid. Still a bit long, I know. But at least you get my point now. And I don’t mean to be rude Phoenix, but what you said was out of line. What I said was in line with what you had to say, and yet you disrespect me by saying I’m “posting my ego”. Yeah, because defending someone without obligation is a HUGE boost to my ego. Sure. Anyway, I’m going to slay some daemons. Peace on you!

    #78 2 years ago