Blizzard COO on how Diablo 3 for consoles isn't "milking" the franchise

Paul Sams says "there is no game we've ever made that was better for a console experience."

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Blizzard has never made a game better suited for consoles than Diablo III, Blizzard COO Paul Sams told GameSpot during BlizzCon last weekend. As such, he said bringing the dungeon crawler to consoles is not "milking" the franchise, but is rather a logical extension of the series.

"What brought us back to console is the game that we chose," Sams said. "It really lends itself to being on console and being in the living room. You think about our RTSes and what the control scheme is for an RTS...doing that on a controller in the living room, it's kind of hard to imagine how that would be awesome, at least in my opinion. When you think about an action RPG, a hack and slash type of experience, like Diablo, gosh I think there is no game we've ever made that was better for a console experience."

Most of Blizzard Entertainment's games, including entries in the StarCraft and Warcraft franchises, have only been released on PC. This does not mean, however, that Blizzard was actively avoiding consoles, Sams said.

"I think for a long time people believed that we were just a PC company and we just wanted to make PC games and that was it. Really it wasn't that. It was that the games we were making, we didn't feel would be as great an experience on those other platforms. And we didn't want to force it," Sams said. "You get only so many opportunities with building trust or damaging trust with the players. And we felt like that can happen on what platforms you choose."

"If you're trying to milk a product by putting it on more platforms when it's not right, well then that's a brand withdrawal, that's a trust withdrawal with those players," he added. "And so that's what it's all about for us, making the best games that we can possibly come up with, that we want to play, and then putting them on the right boxes, or I should say right platforms to really make them sing."

Diablo III was released originally as a PC-exclusive in May 2012, before coming to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in September. The game has sold over 14 million copies to date and a PlayStation 4 version--the Ultimate Evil Edition--is due out in 2014.

Discussion

149 comments
nyran125tk
nyran125tk

1 thing is for certain. They ditched the PC crowd thats for sure, with no offline mode. (even though theyve made tons of money on the PC, with Diablo, Starcraft, World of warcraft) . Not cool. Even though it would get pirated. It will get pirated eventually anyway. Everything does.

GregoryBastards
GregoryBastards

Releasing a game on just a single platform just reduces its potential. I know starcraft and warcraft are unimaginable on consoles, but that's what next gen should be all about, new ways of playing. I mean if they put their minds to it they could probably even bring these games to consoles without us using 5 controllers. I mean diablo 3 on consoles is unexpectedly good.

Milk em all you want be do it with a little brains involved.

lostn
lostn

I don't think it's milking. There are far worse offenders when it comes to milking than simply porting Diablo to consoles. The original Diablo was on the PS1. 

Milking is when you keep making games in the same franchise year after year after year. Blizzard takes a very long time to make games, so that effect is diminished. 

Milking is everything Activision does. CoD is the worst offender. Sports games are generally excused because that is industry expectation.

Stavrami
Stavrami

milk me as much as you want just gimme a release date = - )

Hurvl
Hurvl

"there is no game we've ever made that was better for a console experience" Heh, that's not saying much since Blizzard hasn't released a game for console since Starcraft 64, a Nintendo 64 version of Starcraft 1, came out 2000.

operationode
operationode

I tough  Blizzard is synonymous of milking...maybe I was wrong  

dark_jedi79
dark_jedi79

Nothing wrong with milk, milk is delicious.

Walkerdowntown
Walkerdowntown

How many hours of gameplay is the story mode on normal difficulty? (This excludes replays and replays on the harder difficulty)

renerak
renerak

I think Blizzard is dead except for starcraft which will probably die with starcraft 3 and then it will become a mediocre publisher like most other publishers. But they are masters at the art of illusion, they will always have a fan base similar to that of  WOW.

renerak
renerak

Diablo 3 sucked anyway, I dislike the game either way. It felt too much like a grinding shitty MMO.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

The first Diablo game was released for the Playstation.  I owned it.  I'm not sure why they didn't release Diablo 2 for consoles... but how is this considered milking the franchise?

snacky_smorez
snacky_smorez

I'm glad they released this on console. Now I can play it! Not sure why they are being blamed for milking as these games are few and far between.

titobxny
titobxny

Blizzard alienated its fan base and had a team in that really had nothing to with the original Diablo series up D2LOD work on D3. They took everything away that made Diablo so addictive and WoW'd the crap out of it. With that said, the game is not as bad as the hate it gets.  Path of Exile is a great game and what better way to get noticed than to basically copy D2 and and make it better.  As great as it is, the Desync issues have completely turned me off to it.  Torchlight 2 is another great game, but the lack of story just takes away from it. Blizzard is moving in the right direction by eliminating the disaster that were the AH's. I got the console version and I am pretty happy with the changes, but they have have a long way to go.  

MonocleOwl
MonocleOwl

Fine! Go to the console market and don't come back Diablo, make way for something new. I also gotta add that I'm enjoying the sh*t out of Torchlight 2 now that it's modded to high heaven.

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

"It really lends itself to being on console"

Because it was made that way from the start!!

There were certain design decision made specifically to make this game better suited for console. Many PC gamers/Diablo fans took issue with this because it was watering down the PC version.

ewjiml
ewjiml

Goodbye Diablo 3.  Hello Path of Exile....

Mr_BillGates
Mr_BillGates

Action RPGs are best on consoles. Even console ports for PC is better than PC as the leading platform when it's designed for gamepad instead of crappy mouse to move characters.

snxx
snxx

"I think there is no game we've ever made that was better for a console experience"...

I'm sorry, Paul Sams, but have you never heard about Rock'n'Roll Racing? Lost Vikings? Blackthorne?
That's one of the reasons Blizzard is so far from the bastion of excellence it once was: the company's COO don't know it's own history.

Vexov
Vexov

D3 wasn't milking cash?, no it pretty much stole it after using the title and making such a shit triquel. 

If anything was said to milk, i would say hearthstone... ya you go play that game as a paying player and see how fast that empties your wallet out and runs you per year. F2P, yah.. you go enjoy playing the whole day for a pack of cards.

Heroes of the Storm is likely being developed for consoles, and highly likely its going to microtransaction the crap out of players.

crunchb3rry
crunchb3rry

They can milk away as long as they put that expansion on 360.

Arcturuss
Arcturuss

Path of Exile is just a much better game..

And its free..  Which goes completely against my "i hate all F2P games" policy..

zeca04
zeca04

I liked diablo 3.Until i started Path of Exile.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

They are indeed correct, they cant' milk a franchise that's dead.  And Diablo 3 died horribly.

Kooken58
Kooken58

To me it seems like they are saying...."we designed diablo 3 with consoles mainly in mind".  It wouldn't be a surprise because it sure as hell felt like it...The game is quite shallow compared to the last game in the series, the maps are incredibly linear.  They literally didn't take any risks with the game at all...playing the story line 4 times over again is counted as "content"?  Yes I know Diablo 2 did this, but wouldn't it make sense to maybe offer a different way of offering difficulty, instead of having to play through the short mediocre campaign 4 times.

NTM23
NTM23

It's not necessarily milking. With recent games, I haven't been a big fan of calling things milked. I mean, sure, some can be considered that, but I personally will always enjoy going back to a game universe with the same or new characters as long as whatever it is, is well made and there's a difference in some somewhat significant way. People say Halo's being milked, and I don't believe that at all.

DFA1
DFA1

It's not "milking" the franchise when the game was designed for the consoles from beginning.  Everyone on the PC knows that this game wasn't designed for the PC, it was designed for consoles and the PC was a huge elaborate beta for the consoles.  There is a reason why the game is better on the consoles, because it was meant for it.  This game should have never came out on the PC, it was a huge let down.  As for the console version it's a good game.

chatphon
chatphon

i don't think this is called 'milking'. it's just expand an opportunity  into different platforms , Diablo 3 is pc by heart but it's a good thing for (half of times)console gamer like me that don't have luxury of high-speed internet and always online kind of things.


if this called 'Milking' what is a vocab in the hell use to call some crap that release every-years.

ADO300
ADO300

what idiot would even say that porting a game to consoles is milking franchise? milking franchise is what Nintendo does with Mario, they have awesome 3D & 2D Mario platformers, great Mario kart franchise, great Mario RPG titles and thousand Mario sports and party spin-off's ( which i personally don't like at all ), Activision also milks their franchises, first with guitar hero now with COD, every year there has to be a new COD title and for what? none of us asked for it so why make it? but people asked about diablo 3 for consoles for over a year so that's not milking in no logical sense period!

ZeRo2545
ZeRo2545

@nyran125tk Online only DRM is the best form of anti-piracy, It's the only way to not lose millions of sales for popular titles. People may not like it, but it works.

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@GregoryBastards for sure i agree. Release all games on every platform, id be way happier. Because then i know, i can play them regardless on what i own. Exclusives just annoy me. however it will never happen, because what would be the point in buying 1 console over the other, but then i dont give a shit about the console war. I'm interested in the games, not the console.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

@Walkerdowntown You counting the time you need to farm the rarer-than-unicorn-shit gear you need to survive the end game?

Walkerdowntown
Walkerdowntown

@jinzo9988 Diablo 2 was the best one! I don't think it's milking it at all. I'm so happy I can get it on my xbox now. Is the Reaper of Souls edition gonna be released on the Xbone too?

Vexov
Vexov

@Kooken58 Yep, it was my guess after playing D3 that it was likely developed for the really old hardware of the PS3 and 360. Don't ever forget how fun a action game is to skip cut scenes for endless amounts of fun.. and man did i ever get tired of running through campaign... , funny how i could still go play D2 and run though stuff for the millionth time and still enjoy it more.

NTM23
NTM23

@DFA1 I for one never played the PC version, but have and played Diablo 3 on 360. I will say that what you just said is pretty subjective. I'd say it works as well as needed on both PC and console from what I've seen and heard. Some will say it's better on PC (while not being a fanboy) and vice versa.

crognalsen
crognalsen

@DFA1  

I highly doubt this is true.  For one thing the game has sold a lot more on PC.  For another thing most games come out on console first and then they come out on PC.  Does that mean most console games are just a huge beta test to get games ready for the real platform which is PC.  The only reason the game was always online on PC is because Blizzard doesn't want their product stolen.  We all know that, but Blizzard will never admit it.  They said it was needed for the auction house and now they have more excuses.  I still think the game is better on PC.  It will be even better when the auction house is removed.  I don't think Blizzard even made the console version of the game.  They hired someone else to do it.

AwkwardTurtle42
AwkwardTurtle42

@chatphon Yeah, I wouldn't say that opening a game up to people on other platforms is milking. Releasing a new game in a series every year is what I would call milking.

SpicaAntares
SpicaAntares

@ADO300 Anyway Diablo 3 was a great disappointment for most Diablo 2 fans so they need to port it everywhere, to reach a more casual audience.

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@ZeRo2545 People pirate games because its FREE. They dont pirate games because they have to pay for it. A lot of people i know who pirate games would never of paid for it in the first place. They dont want to pay for it, thats the point of Piracy. Unless it's cheap as hell. An example is because there was no offline mode in diablo 3, i didn't even buy it and bought and PAID for Torchlight 2 and titans Quest instead, for like 15% of Diablo 3's price tag. Had Diablo 3 had Offline mode i MIGHT of bought Diablo 3. 

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@ZeRo2545 people that dont buy games, dont buy games, in general Piracy is a hoax. If the people that pirate cant play it for free, what makes you think they'll care about paying for it? They are only PLAYING the game BECAUSE its free. I know people that buy COD, Battlefield and a few games like Total war and civilization and pirate everything else and if they couldnt play it for free, they wouldnt even bother with it. Thats on console to.  The ones that play first buy later? they are a minority. a VERy small minority. Most people that pirate never pay for it eventually.

MigGui
MigGui

@nyran125tk, the companies that build consoles also make games. it's strategical for them not to release these games on other companies' consoles, since it would be detrimental for their console if they did. all other exclusives are avoidable, and most likely bought.

renerak
renerak

@Walkerdowntown @renerak Well, the people who play wow always want higher equip. so they feel like they acheived something. And even I have no idea why WOW is so popular cause none of your actions mean anything in the world, the combat is lame, the spell effects look mediocre, the only thing it has are some beatifull worlds, but after a torturous time of grinding even that place will look boring and bland. Hate that game, wasted 2 whole weeks of my life playing that thing cause someone recommended.

dess_aramae
dess_aramae

@ZeRo2545

Dude, do you work for Blizzard? If not then why is their profit making scheming a cause for your concern? Because seriously, if you don't work for Blizzard and get no money from them at all, then why the hell do you care if they make money or not A corporation that gives zero ****s about you? Your opening statement about them losing money because of the online only DRM for d3 is scary. So, it's ok that they condemn entire populations of gamers with crappy net connections because it will make them money? Why is that ok? Is it because you have a stable net connection and are selfish enough to not care? People like you again, scare the living hell out of me. There is absolutely no valid reason Blizzard had for forcing always online DRM on a game that traditionally had single play offline mode. 

The GAME mechanics itself screams of a single player experience. Do you require 50,000 people to populate a server to enjoy the game? No, all you need is YOU, YOU, first then people join in if they want to buddy up. S'not like the monsters in the game will ignore you or refuse to attack you because there are not enough player controlled avatars to tussle with. So why, the hell should you always be online to play an ESSENTIALLY single player game? Your arguments are lacking man. And it's sad to see people argue for stuff like this.

ZeRo2545
ZeRo2545

@nyran125tk People do what they have to, so they can do what they want to. If always online DRM is in a game they really want to play, you can bet your ass they'll buy it. People are willing to spend the cash they save from pirating other games, so they can play the online games like the ones you listed. Most games that get pirated are singleplayer games, or games that aren't available anymore. If Diablo III was designed like its previous games with singleplayer and lan options, the game would have lost millions of sales.