The rebound is complete. The turnaround of Diablo 3 is finally clear in terms of more than just good buzz; it’s translated into sales as well.
Blizzard has just announced that the first Diablo 3 expansion, Reaper of Souls, has sold 2.7M copies in its first week. Compared to the original hugely anticipated game moving 6.3M copies in week one, that’s actually extremely impressive for an expansion. Doubly so given how poorly the original game was received for so long after launch.
My thoughts about the game can be found in depth in my recent review, but the long and short of it is that Diablo 3 has been extraordinarily transformed by Reaper of Souls, and a long series of patches that came before it. With seemingly unlimited endgame content, no meddlesome auction house and more entertaining loot, the game has done a complete 180 in terms of quality. I took a few hits for my 9.5/10 review, but I stand by it. To me, the game really is that fun now.
The expansion is somewhat light on actual content for a full $40, far beyond what most DLC costs these days. It’s only one new Act and one new class in terms of actual additions, but the new loot and inclusion of Adventure Mode makes the price worthwhile for many fans. With these sales, it’s interesting to see just how many fans either stuck with the game until Reaper, or came back to it once they started hearing about its turnaround.
I have to wonder now if Diablo will end up getting a second expansion down the line now. Diablo 2 only ever had Lord of Destruction as a full expansion, but Starcraft 2 is getting two expansions total for sure, and I’ve lost track of how many World of Warcraft has had to date (five?).
There are little hints buried in the dialogue of the game about possible future locations for new quests, including the Amazon homeland, which could also be a new class addition. The Crusader was another melee character, so a new ranged hero could be on deck for a future expansion. Though now with Diablo’s equal gender opportunity heroes, I’m not quite sure what a male Amazon would look like, or how it can even exist by the definition of the word.
2.7M sales in a week for an expansion like this makes it a pretty solid success, and I have to imagine that the end result might be another stab at even more content in another two years or so. Until then, we’re likely to see more patches to improve the game. Mostly recently, I heard about a version of Path of Exile’s “endless dungeons” where players will be able to run through increasingly tough maps, and it will be an international competition as to who can complete the highest level of the infinitely tough dungeons. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to get my Monk geared back up to Torment difficulty…
Even with the quality turnaround, I’m surprised so many other fans have re-embraced the series like this after all the ill-will the original release garnered. Blizzard’s hard work fixing the game from the ground up has been rewarded with great sales, and they’ve learned plenty of priceless lessons about what their fans want along the way.