Over the past week, some of the more noteworthy happenings in the world of gaming have unfolded like a parable about good business practices. Let’s begin: On May 8, Valve released the Perpetual Testing Initiative (a totally free level editor for Portal 2
), which has been unsurprisingly popular. In order to thank the community for their enthusiasm, Portal 2
was on sale via Steam last weekend for a whopping 66% off. Skyrim
and some Team Fortress 2
items were knocked down as well, because why not.
A few days later, several gaming news sites reported that EA was pulling down a big chunk of their Battlefield 3
public servers, in an effort to push players toward their $30-a-month rental servers. Unsurprisingly, an outcry followed. Shortly after, EA restored a number of public servers, stating that their intent was never to remove access to public servers entirely. They did, however, continue to talk up the benefits of renting in the same breath.
And finally, on Tuesday, Blizzard’s release of Diablo III
— arguably the most anticipated PC game to date — was a big hot mess. Diablo III
requires a connection to Blizzard’s Battle.net servers at all times, even while playing the single-player campaign. When the game launched at 12:01 AM, the resulting server traffic was massive (as one might expect), and many players spent the better part of the day futilely attempting to sign in. Keep in mind, players were able to purchase, download, and install the game client weeks in advance, which most did; all the server connection was needed for was to unlock the game.