Things just went from a shoe full of mud to a washing machine full of rat fur. Blizzard's top execs are probably quivering more than Bill Clinton after Hilary found out about the stains on Lewinski's dress.
Enough beating around the bush, though, the real story is that South Korea's Fair Trade Commission will be investigating Blizzard over claims involving Diablo III, as reported by the Jakarta Post, a South-East Asian online media affiliate.
So why is the South Korean FTC getting involved with Blizzard? Well, the FTC is receiving an average of 150 complaints a day, but it varies between 111 and 175 complaints regarding gamers not being able to play Diablo III due to lag and the now meme-famous Error 3003.
If that wasn't bad enough, there are just as many complaints about accounts being compromised. Blizzard recently explained to JoyStiq that disconnections, account infiltration and server disconnections are common with online games that launch under such heavy demand, saying...
"Historically, the release of a new game -- such as a World of Warcraft expansion -- will result in an increase in reports of individual account compromises, and that's exactly what we're seeing now with Diablo 3,"
The game broke PC game records by selling more than 6 million copies in one week. However, more and more people are finding that despite the game being deemed a fun experience, the always-on DRM is proving to be a real hassle, especially for playing the game in single-player. In result, people are complaining about both hacked accounts and the inability to login into the game.
The Jakarta Post reports that more than 3,000 people have already signed a petition on Daum’s Agora forum for Blizzard to refund them for the purchase of the game.
I imagine it won't be long before the Fair Trade Commission in other regions begin to step in and offer an investigation if the complaints continue to mount. The only consolation for gamers so far is that the South Korean FTC has mentioned that they will "look into the situation".
While some people have debated on behalf of Blizzard, saying that Diablo III is practically an MMO and MMOs suffer from the same problems, that assessment of the problem is incorrect. There has been no promotion, advertisements or indication that Diablo III was strictly an MMO and as such, many gamers bought the game on the premise that it was a game that required an online connection but allowed for a single-player experience, which is partly true save for the fact that you can only play at the convenience of Battle.net's server availability, in addition to your own online connection.
The real problem, however, is that server issues will never go away. When playing MMOs it's a common occurrence to be disconnected or have the service dropped or worse yet, have the service closed at the whim of the company running it. And so long as Diablo III stays popular and stays online, there's going to be the problem of logging in, lag and everything else in between.