People don’t remember ‘how mad they were’ that Diablo II had both an online and offline mode.
In an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Diablo III’s lead designer Kevin Martens defended the always-online requirement for the PC version of the game.
According to him, people don’t remember “how mad they were” that Diablo II had both an online and offline mode, adding that “if someone has no Internet access, then yeah, Diablo III is not the game for them”.
It’s interesting when you’re in the moment in gaming culture – when you’re playing the game right now – we see its flaws very well. When we look at the long history, it becomes sort of a rosy past. I don’t think people necessarily remember how mad they themselves were that they had an offline mode and online mode in Diablo II.
This will probably be controversial for me to say. People will be like, “I wasn’t mad!” But I was there at the time, and then I studied this for a living. It sucks when your friend or brother is online and he wants to join this game, but you realize you’re an offline character and he’s an online character, and there’s no way to transfer over because offline characters can be hacked and hex-edited to hell and back, right?
That was the wrong choice to allow people to play offline, and we still stand by that. And we think Internet access is widespread. If someone has no Internet access, then yeah, Diablo III is not the game for them.