So on June 28, Blizzard Entertainment announced the impending release of Diablo 3. (Impending meaning sometime in the next year or so.)
It just so happens that on the same day, Blizzard added Diablo 2 and its expansion, Lord of Destruction, to its online store as digital downloads. Already on the service were Starcraft and Warcraft 3, also with their respective expansions.
Now, I’m ashamed to admit that I was one of those buying-things-is-for-chumps high school kids who pirated the game the first time around. Actually, it wasn’t that hard. A friend of mine had the game, I had a CD burner. I used his CD-key to install, and then just never went on Battle.Net. I figured I could do without multiplayer, and I was right, kind of. I had a blast with it.
Anyway, when Diablo 3 was announced I was immediately hit with a kind of nostalgia that I hadn’t felt since I learned they were making a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. (I don’t care what anyone thinks, TMNT rocked.) Since I had long ago lost the CDs I’d burned, had developed a sense of consumer responsibility in the intervening years, and had to play Diablo 2 right now, I decided to take advantage of the digital download.
Which is when I discovered that it would still cost me $40 to download the complete D2 package if I wanted to play Lord of Destruction. So I immediately shut down the computer, since there wasn’t any way I would pay that much for an eight-year-old game. And by that I mean that I put in my credit card number and bought the damn game because I’m weak and impulsive.
This simply has to be intentional on Blizzard’s part. I would love to see the data on how many people purchased Diablo 2 from their website that first day. I personally know at least two other people who had the same reaction I did to Diablo 3‘s announcement, although they both owned the game beforehand, and I’ve met a lot of people on Battle.Net since then who did the same thing I did.
I’m willing to bet Blizzard broke some kind of record in sales of an old game without having to bother with any kind of re-release.