Diablo III’s online-only model was not a good idea, but it didn't hurt Blizzard's sales, according to Introversion Software.
Introversion founder Chris Delay, whose studio is most famous for real-time strategy game Darwinia, told Eurogamer that an always-on requirement offered little benefit to gamers, but it's likely that even those who decried the practice played the game.
"From the gamers' point of view, there is no pro to always-on," he said. "It's something that's for game developers to protect their game… I'm under no illusion it's done for piracy reasons, not for functionality reasons.”
"[Blizzard] dressed it up as, 'your save game is held online in the cloud and will be synchronised, and you get all these online features and achievements and you get the auction house' and all that nonsense, [but] I don't think anyone actually believes that, right? It's a DRM system. It is, fundamentally, a DRM method, with added benefits for providing some additional online functionality."
That said, he didn’t believe Blizzard were hurt by their error-plagued Diablo III launch or its always-on requirement.
"The so-called backlash makes a lot of noise on forums and makes for a lot of great headlines, but it doesn't amount to anything," he said.
"Whenever a Steam group decides to boycott a game, somebody comes along and takes a picture of that Steam group on the day the game launches, and they're all playing it. Ultimately, gamers care so much about the games they're playing. Diablo 3 has such a rabid following and everybody wanted to play it so badly they were even willing to put up with that crazy launch process.
"Probably everyone who complained bought it anyway," he added. "Probably the people who bought it complained the loudest because they were the most upset.
"They've launched the game. They've had record-breaking sales. They've successfully stopped piracy of their single-player game.," he said.