One of the worst things about Diablo 3 was how it required players to be online at all times: this meant you couldn’t play if the servers were busy, you couldn’t play it on a laptop if you were on the go, and it’d cause the game to lag, even if you were playing by yourself. Thankfully, Blizzard is ditching the game’s always-online DRM in the upcoming console ports of the title.
In an interview with Game Trailers’ Geoff Keighley, Blizzard production director John Hight casually mentioned that the game would be playable without an internet connection, saying “You can have four people on the same screen – no split-screen, we just zoom the camera out. Or if you’re offline.” Hight also explained the other changes that are coming to the Playstation ports of D3, including the new evasion move, the revised interface, and the new camera angles.
Blizzard also later confirmed that there will be no cross-play between PC and PS3/PS4 versions of the game.
I’m still not sure what Blizzard and Sony’s strategy with Diablo 3 is: while the game sold extremely well upon its initial release, fans’ opinion about the game since then has been pretty mixed, and while Diablo 2 remained popular for years after its release, the amount of people still playing D3 seems to have dropped off sharply. While Sony still obviously believes that Diablo 3 will be a big system seller, it’ll be interesting to see if negative word-of-mouth from PC gamers effects sales of the game on consoles.