Open-world action role-playing game “Diablo IV” has become the biggest out-of-the-gate seller in Blizzard Entertainment history, generating $666 million in global sales within the first five days of its June 6 launch. The game developer equated the record to box-office movie performance, crediting “Diablo IV” for the company’s “biggest opening week of the year.” The online game, which accommodates single or multi-players, combines a gothic atmosphere with monster-slaying. The heroes of Sanctuary, the world in which “Diablo” is set, have already played more than 276 million hours, or more than 30,000 years.
In an announcement, Blizzard Entertainment president Mike Ybarra credited the success to “our incredible teams working together to craft and support genre-defining games and build legendary worlds.”
Blizzard SVP and “Diablo” GM Rod Fergusson said the company wasn’t concerned about getting older fans who fueled the success of previous “Diablo” installments (the series launched in 1997). Fergusson told The New York Times that “we were really trying to reach the younger audience. If you’re paying attention, you can see it in our marketing.”
The song used in the “Diablo IV” launch trailer is “You Should See Me in a Crown” by Billie Eilish. And Blizzard also enlisted Halsey to remix her song “Lilith,” which she did in collaboration with BTS member Suga, launching the tune in December, along with a music video that helped spread buzz on social media.
Blizzard also got lucky with the timing of a Manhattan billboard, which was touting the message “Welcome to hell, New York” through smoke-filled orange-tinted skies last week due to smoke from the Canadian wildfires, NYT writes, noting “compared with past titles, ‘Diablo IV’s’ launch appears to have gone well.”
The company recently struggled with the release of “Overwatch 2” that left players “upset with early technical issues and fundamental changes to how the game was played.” NYT says that by comparison, “Diablo IV” had “only a few hiccups” resulting from “some extended load times due to the high demand to play the game.”
“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II” was Activision Blizzard’s highest-grossing entertainment launch last year, crossing $1 billion in in the first 10 days. In its newsroom, the company also quotes PwC’s latest sector outlook, which says “gaming, with its immersive experiences and virtual items, is [paving the way to] the next generation of digital advertising, entertainment and brand experiences.”
Diablo’s Dark World Finally Gets the Villain It Deserves, The Verge, 6/13/23
To Hell and Back: Inside the Tumultuous Making of Diablo IV, Esquire, 6/12/23