Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls sells 2.7 million copies in first week

Ian Birnbaum at

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls has already sold 2.7 million copies in its first week, a strong showing for Diablo 3’s first expansion. Though much-maligned as it struggled under spotty server connections and always-online DRM, Diablo 3 itself managed to sell around 6.3 million in its first week. In that context, Reaper of Souls has done quite well indeed.

Diablo 2 lives on: ladder system maintenance, another character reset inbound

Patrick Carlson at

The battle may never end. More than 13 years after its initial release, Diablo 2 remains a reference point for the games we play today. It helps that the action RPG still gets some tender loving care from Blizzard, like the upcoming ladder system maintenance. New players will be able to jump into the competitive hunt for loot with minimal fuss, even after all this time.

Bloom: Memories heads to Kickstarter to fund a new take on the ARPG formula

Ian Birnbaum at

Bloom: Memories is an ambitious action RPG that’s going to try to marry the exploration of Zelda, the stealth of Thief, and the living world of Harvest Moon. With a big emphasis on clever solutions beyond violence and a really beautiful batch of concept art, I’m not surprised that Bloom is already halfway to its $40,000 funding goal after only a couple of days on Kickstarter.

Interview: Diablo and Diablo II's lead designer on Diablo III

Evan Lahti at

Stieg Hedlund’s list of credits are varied. He’s had a hand in Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, an Oddworld sequel, the original StarCraft and beloved cult games like Comix Zone. Prominently, Hedlund was lead designer on Diablo and Diablo II, so when I had the opportunity to speak with him recently I had to ask what he thought about Diablo III.

Lately Hedlund is working with Grand Theft Auto creator Dave Jones on ChronoBlade, an action-RPG available on Facebook. Look for more interview excerpts from Hedlund and Jones in the coming days.

Blizzcon 2013 tickets go on sale next Wednesday

T.J. Hafer at

Blizzard's annual fan convention, Blizzcon, is November 8 and 9 this year. As you might expect for a gathering focused on such monoliths of PC gaming as Starcraft and Warcraft, tickets tend to go pretty fast, so if you're looking to join in the scramble, you should know that tickets go on sale next Wednesday, April 24, at 7 p.m. Pacific. A second batch will become available Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. Pacific. The cost this year is $175 per person.

Battle.net transformed Diablo from "a single-player, turn-based DOS game"

Omri Petitte at

It's pretty impossible defining Blizzard without Battle.net, its multiplayer matchmaking platform and the first in-game service of its kind. It was a major selling point for Diablo, but the RPG's legacy—perhaps even the legacy of multiplayer gaming itself—could've turned out differently if not for a last-minute whim. In an interview with PCGamesN, Diablo designer and former Blizzard North head David Brevik reveals the trailblazing title was initially a turn-based solo adventure with no online capability whatsoever.

Face Off: Are modern games difficult enough?

PC Gamer at

Are hard-as-hell indie games enough to satiate our hunger for a challenge, or should mainstream developers quit trying to appease everyone and start really testing us? In this Face Off from our archives (originally published October 2012), Executive Editor Evan Lahti gives former Senior Editor Josh Augustine a hard time for his willingness to take it easy.

Diablo 3 account bans issued to "several thousand" players using bots

Phil Savage at

It's a bad month to be a bot. First Guild Wars 2's struck a "decisive blow" in the name of humanity, banishing 34,000 bots from Tyria. Now Blizzard are sending the autonomous avatars straight to hell, and banning the players they worked for to boot.

Blizzard registers "Project Blackstone" domain

T.J. Hafer at

Blizzard Entertainment has registered the domain name ProjectBlackstone.com, effective November 26. It's fairly common to hear about this sort of thing with Blizzard. Going all the way back to World of Warcraft's Burning Crusade expansion, we've been teased with the titles of their unreleased products courtesy of... whoever it is that spies on domain registries. In this case, we got the tip from fan site Titan Focus, which is dedicated to Blizzard's upcoming franchise-launch currently known internally as Titan.

PC Gamer US Podcast #334 - Burger Commando

PC Gamer at

Join Evan, Omri, and T.J. for a descent into the frightening (and sometimes disappointingly not-so-frightening) world of horror games on this minimally-gimmicky, holiday-themed epsiode. Featuring SPOOKY news, SPOOKY discussion of upcoming DLC for some of our favorite games, and SPOOKY musing on whether Minecraft is still relevant. Listeners beware, you're in for... PC Gamer Podcast 334: Burger Commando

Blizzard prototyped Diablo-clone set in space

Marsh Davies at

Starblo. That was the actual codename Blizzard gave to a prototype sci-fi-themed Diablo-clone - as revealed by Shacknews in an interview snippet with David Craddock about his upcoming book on Blizzard Entertainment, Stay Awhile and Listen. Apparently, a team at Blizzard North were toying with the idea of propelling Diablo's slot-machine formula into space shortly after Diablo 2's launch.

Marvel Heroes soars into closed beta in October

Omri Petitte at

Gazillion and Diablo luminary David Brevik's free-to-play MMO Marvel Heroes enters closed beta on October 1, allowing selected players to don the supple spandex of their favorite Marvel characters in the search for foes to vanquish, loot to gather, and role-playing sessions trading "Pow! Biff! Bamf!" over chat.

Which Diablo 3 builds does Blizzard use?

T.J. Hafer at

Curious what builds the creators of Diablo 3 battle the legions of hell with? Our elite surveillance teams have infiltrated the Blizzard offices and dug up the skill combos and strategies used by five of the cooks responsible for the addictive brimstone stew that is Diablo 3.

Let there be loot: Diablo 3 increases high-end item drop rates

T.J. Hafer at

A hotfix that went live in Diablo 3 today has boosted your chances of finding item level 61 through 63 gear (the highest in the game) significantly. The change only affects Hell difficulty Act III and forward. Read on for some crunchy numbers.

Diablo 3 Barbarian build guide

PC Gamer at

The mighty Barbarians of Mount Arreat are undeniably Diablo 3's most savage melee fighters. We've put together a list of the most fun and effective builds we've created for these battle-raging behemoths. Our Diablo 3 class build guide has builds for every class in Diablo 3: Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard. Be sure to check back often—we're updating it almost every day.

Diablo 3 Collector's Edition unboxing video: PC Gamer defeat the Lord of Packaging

Chris Thursten at

This morning Owen and I cracked open the Diablo 3 Collector's Edition that'll soon be winging its way to fans in advance of the game's release on Tuesday. This super special version of Diablo includes the soundtrack, making-of DVD and an art book as well as exclusive in-game bonus items and Battle.net goodies.

There's also a USB Soulstone - not the most secure Soulstone that Owen has ever felt, apparently - that contains a full version of Diablo 2 plus the Lord of Destruction expansion. In the video I mistakenly say that it includes the first Diablo game as well, but this isn't the case. Check out the full unboxing below.

Diablo 3 lore guide: the story so far

T.J. Hafer at

As Diablo III draws near, those new to the series may be asking: “What, exactly, are these ugly loot pinatas I’m slaughtering in droves for gold and shiny new weapons?” The Diablo universe has a long and detailed history, and if you’re an unrepentant lore hound like I am, you already know how deep it goes. But Diablo II was released 12 years ago, so there's no shame in brushing up. This is the short version, for those who want more context on the game’s world and story in a neat blood-soaked package.

Diablo 3 release date set for May 15

Tom Senior at

Blizzard have finally announced a release date for Diablo 3! It'll be released digitally and in shops internationally on May 15 and is available to pre-order now on Battle.Net. It'll arrive a bit later on June 7 in Latin America and Russia.

Alongside the release date announcement, Blizzard have revealed the Collector's Edition. That comes with a skull of Diablo with a crystalline USB stick that looks as though it'll plug into the demon's forehead. There's a copy of Diablo 2 and its expansion, Lord of Destruction on the stick.

Blizzard lays off 600 employees, development teams "largely unaffected"

Josh Augustine at

The juggernaut developer behind the StarCraft, Warcraft, and Diablo franchises just announced that they're laying off 600 employees this morning. Mike Morhaime, Blizzard's president and co-founder, released a public statement on the World of Warcraft forums to clarify the need to let these employees go and which sections of the company would be affected.

Diablo 3 drops real-money auction house in South Korea to secure official classification

Tom Senior at

Diablo 3 has been causing controversy with South Korea's ratings board for ages. Diablo 3's real money auction house has been the main source of the problem. The idea of playing for financial gain conflicted with South Korea's stern anti-gambling ethos, but the problem has now been resolved. Dualshockers noticed the appearance of an official 18 rating for Diablo 3 on the South Korean game rating board site. Blizzard have had to make concessions to guarantee the rating, however.