Despite Bumpy Launch, Activision Sells 3.5 Million Copies of Diablo III in 24 Hours
Despite reports of hacking and several operational issues after launch, Activision is claiming to have sold 3.5 million copies of Diablo III in the first 24 hours of sales, setting a record for the fastest-selling PC game ever.
After Activision’s Blizzard studios launched the highly anticipated PC game on May 15, players had problems logging on and said their accounts were being hacked.
“Despite very aggressive projections, our preparations for the launch of the game did not go far enough,” the company said in an apology issued last week. Yesterday, the company issued another statement, confirming that some accounts “may have been compromised.”
In addition to selling 3.5 million copies on day one, Activision said more than 1.2 million players received Diablo III as part of signing up for the World of Warcraft Annual Pass promotion. Based on that total, internal calculations and reports from distribution partners, Activision believes this makes Diablo III the biggest PC game launch in history.
By the end of the first week, Diablo sales reached 6.3 million. The game costs $60 for either the physical copy or the digital version.
“We’re definitely thrilled that so many people around the world were excited to pick up their copy of Diablo III and jump in the moment it went live,” said Blizzard’s CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime. “We also regret that our preparations were not enough to ensure everyone had a seamless experience when they did so. I want to reaffirm our commitment to make sure the millions of Diablo III players out there have a great experience with the game moving forward, and I also want to thank them for their ongoing support.”
In the game, players take on one of five heroic characters — barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk or demon hunter. As that character, they must save the world of Sanctuary from the forces of the Burning Hells. As they engage in the virtual world, players gain new abilities and acquire artifacts.
For the first time ever, those artifacts can be traded for real-world currency through an auction house.
During the company’s first-quarter conference call two weeks ago, it confirmed that consumer feedback from the beta test had gone well, especially when it came to the new trading method.
Blizzard does not intend to sell any items in the auction house, in contrast to other game models where companies profit from selling in-game virtual goods. But interestingly, Blizzard will charge players a transaction fee on sales, or roughly 15 percent on most items.