It’s taken 12 years for Blizzard Entertainment to release the latest sequel to their critically-acclaimed “Diablo” series, but that hasn’t slowed down fans' obsession.
"Diablo III" was released at midnight Tuesday and Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhati told The Associated Press the game has the potential to sell four million copies. Blizzard estimates that number to be slightly lower at 3.5 million. Either way, pop culture website VentureBeat.com said the game was already the most pre-ordered of all time.
Thousands of gamers across the country lined up at video game stores for the game's midnight release, with the promise of better graphics, more classes of characters and even tougher boss battles. Criticized and heralded for its hellacious gameplay -- in hardcore mode your character can be killed off for good -- “Diablo III” takes place 20 years after the events in the last game, with the forces of the underworld preparing for a massive attack. It’s a battle millions of gamers have been waiting for.
The last time a Diablo game was released, there were two Clintons in the White House and Britney Spears was claiming "Oops! I Did it Again." In spite of the long wait though, gamers haven’t forgotten.
"There's nowhere I'd rather be tonight," gamer Ian Noble, 24, told the AP Tuesday morning at Blizzard's own launch event for the title. "I've been waiting for this moment for a long, long time."
But it hasn’t all been peaches for Blizzard. The developer has already had its hands-full less than a half day after the game was released, with an early morning server crash that stopped thousands from creating their characters needed in order to play. With no early-review copies given to the video game press either, the entire video game world currently has their mouse hand occupied.