The Springville GameStop hosted more than 100 people with free Mt. Dew and pizza as crowds swelled for the midnight release of “Diablo III” — a mania of anticipation for some fans waiting years.
Since the 2001 release of the “Diablo II” expansion and after several postponed releases, fans of the Blizzard Entertainment franchise enjoyed actual screen time when online servers for “Diablo III” opened at 1 a.m. in Utah on Tuesday.
In a press release from the company, Blizzard demonstrated its dominance in the gaming industry by identifying the world release locations.
“Gamers … will be able to purchase ‘Diablo III’ at retailers throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau,” Blizzard Entertainment stated in a press release.South American regions can digitally buy the game via Blizzard’s website, battle.net.
At GameStop in Springville, those with reserved copies of the game received raffle tickets — a drawing held at midnight offered prizes including chocolate cakes from Magleby’s, a full gaming strategy guide, and pinup merchandize.
Nearing 11 p.m., dozens sat and stood in twisting lines for first grabs at the game. An hour later, just before midnight, the mob grew to more than 100 people.
Anticipation by Utah fans
Tyler Hurd of Orem provided a reason crowds stood for hours for a computer game available for digital purchase online.
“We’ve been waiting five years for this,” Hurd said. “A couple hours is nothing.”
Unlike the digital version, the retail store game box set includes the “Diablo III” CD soundtrack, a behind-the-scenes Blu-ray/DVD two-disc set, and a 4 GB USB among other features.
Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment said he looks forward to perfecting “Diablo III” in the months ahead.
“After many years of hard work by our development team and months of beta testing by hundreds of thousands of dedicated players around the world, we’re now in the homestretch,” said Morhaime in a news release.
By June 7th, “Diablo III” will be available in 11 languages including Russian and Chinese, according to a company statement.
European markets reached the midnight deadline before gamers in the U.S., jeering and bragging were reported to be visible on online forums related to the game by foreign patrons to American audiences.
With the world now at equal access to the highly anticipated “Diablo III,” Hurd said he’s not wasting any more time.
“I told my professors and girlfriend not to contact me for the next two weeks,” Hurd said.
Minor adjustments have been made to this article to help clarify information.