Diablo 3: Blizzard issues apology for Battle.net woes

Diablo 3 got off to a less-than auspicious start, reps for Blizzard admitted this week. 

Visitors play Diablo 2 at the Blizzard exhibition stand during the Gamescom 2011 fair in Cologne, Germany. The launch of Diablo 3 has been plagued with server issues and in-game bugs.

Diablo 2 shipped in 2000. Diablo 3 shipped in 2012. Twelve years – an excruciatingly long period of time for fans of the Diablo franchise.

But apparently not long enough for Blizzard, which watched as the launch of its long-awaited fantasy title was consumed with Battle.net server woes and a litany of in-game errors. Last night, Blizzard belatedly issued an official apology to users, and promised to investigate all bug reports. 

"We sincerely regret that your crusade to bring down the Lord of Terror was thwarted not by mobs of demons, but by mortal infrastructure," Blizzard reps wrote in a statement. "As many of you are aware, technical issues occurring within hours after the game’s launch led to players experiencing error messages and difficulty logging in. These issues cropped up again last night for the Americas and Europe servers."

The latest installment in the Diablo franchise was originally slated to launch last year – Blizzard held the title several months, in order to polish up the gameplay. But "our preparations for the launch of the game did not go far enough," reps for the company admitted yesterday. 

By this afternoon, the worst of the server problems seemed to be alleviated, but as Rick Burgess of Tech Spot points out, Blizzard has been forced to delay the launch of a real-money auction house, originally set to go live on May 22. 

Diablo 3 has received generally favorable marks from critics, who have praised the new 3D engine and dynamic visuals. 

"[F]or single players, it's an entertaining and gorgeous-looking dungeon hack but it's a bit short, extremely linear and hardly pushing any boundaries," one critic noted. "Playing online (and Blizzard isn't really giving us a choice) makes it a better balanced and more compelling challenge, with all the potential to be the kind of lifestyle substitute that Diablo's legion of hunter-gatherer fans should relish."

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