Blizzard's Robert Bridenbecker says he's surprised at the negative reaction to the news that Diablo 3 will require an always-on internet connection to play.
In my mind, the reaction to Diablo 3's always-on internet requirement was entirely predictable. Whether as a point of principle or practicality, a lot of gamers just don't like the idea of being forced to connect to the internet to play a single-player game. But Bridenbecker, Blizzard's vice president of online technology, apparently didn't see it coming.
"I'm actually kind of surprised in terms of there even being a question in today's age around online play and the requirement around that," Bridenbecker told MTV Games. "We've been doing online gameplay for 15 years now... and with World of WarCraft and our roots in Battle.net and now with Diablo 3, it really is just the nature of how things are going, the nature of the industry. When you look at everything you get by having that persistent connection on the servers, you cannot ignore the power and the draw of that."
He also claimed that the always-on requirement has absolutely nothing to do with DRM. "I don't think [DRM] ever came up when we talked about how we want connections to operate," he said. So why not just make an offline mode for people who want to play that way? "You're introducing a separate user flow, a separate path that players are going to go down," he explained. "And, at the end of the day, how many people are going to want to do that?"