A Real D3 Fatality, Large Pineapples in China, and More

A grab bag of miscellaneous Diablo 3 tidbits, none of them large enough to deserve a news post of their own in these busy days.

We’ll start off with the unfunny news, as a man has died, supposedly after playing Diablo III for 72-straight hours.

A 32 years old American, Russell Shirley, decided to go on holiday for three days to be able to enjoy the game Blizzard Entertainment launched a few days ago. But it looks like Russell Shirley enjoyed Diablo 3 so much that he forgot to sleep. He played Diablo III for 3 days straight and his heart craked.

After 72 hours straight of staying in front of the computer, Russell Shirley suffered a heart attack. The one who found him dead in his apartment was a co-worker, who was worried that Russell didn’t arrive to work, so he decided to pay him a visit.

As the article says, the guy was in very poor physical condition, and there’s no evidence his heart attack actually came during a play session, or was caused by losing a Hardcore character, or choking at a particularly cheesy bit of NPC dialogue. Still, it’s a tragic event and we’ll thank you to keep the DiabloWikiHardcore graveyard and special DiabloWikiFeat of Strength Achievement jokes to yourselves.

Diablo III is not yet available in China, as that nation’s government agencies engage in their usual foot-dragging over censorship and control. With the game readily available almost everywhere else in Asia, black market sales were going strong, and these were using a pun and calling the game “Big Pineapple.” What? Quote from the Tech In Asia article:

It’s a play on words, using the same sort of strategy Chinese net users often use to evade political censorship. Using Diablo 3?s official Chinese name — Dark God of Destruction — is being searched for by Taobao officials. But the Chinese term for “big pineapple” is dà b?luó, which sounds a bit like “Diablo.” By using that term, and adding pictures of pineapples, vendors can make it much harder for Taobao to track them down.

What’s not mentioned is something we posted about last September, and you see in the picture there. There’s a humorous double entendre to it as well, since “dà b?luó” also sounds a bit like a slang term for “large breasts” in Chinese. Stick that in your DiabloWikisheablo pipe and smoke it!

In other amusing news from Asia, this article claims that Korean bars and nightclubs have seen a marked downturn in business since the launch of Diablo III.

More people spending time in PC bang, playing Diablo III means fewer people doing other things. One bar owner told The Hankyoreh that business is down. He’s heard that it’s because of Diablo III, which doesn’t seem to bother him too much. He’s a fan. After closing the bar at 2am, he heads over to a PC bang and plays until 8am. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. And then beat ‘em.

How Blizzard Saved $44m on Diablo III.

The author reckons that’s how much more profit Blizzard pulled on D3 sales by not making a console version, since developers have to pay hefty royalties to MS or Sony to produce Xbox or PS3 games. Of course Blizzard is working on a console version, and they certainly would have sold many more copies had D3 launched in console as well, and they “saved” a lot more money running their own digital download service instead of sharing profits with Steam, especially since digital sales are 100% profit without the manufacturing or distribution or $20 a box to retailers, etc.

Which are a few of the reasons I only posted this article in a mixed bag, rather than giving it a news post of its own. Thanks to Dana for the news tip.

Related to this article
  • See how Diablo 3’s character art is being censored in China
  • Blizzard offer Koreans Refund on Diablo 3
  • Korea to Ban Online Game Item Sales & Bots

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    16 thoughts on “A Real D3 Fatality, Large Pineapples in China, and More

      • Anyone who sits down for 3 days straight is going to put themselves in jeopardy.  They wouldn’t allow flights to last that long on health and safety grounds.  They don’t even like you sitting in your seat for 12 hours straight. Getting up for a quick pee isn’t good enough either.  You really need to stretch you legs properly or there is a risk of DVT.


      • lol not true but he died anyway? heh that at least makes all the difference in the world

    1. That Intel blog post really wasn’t very well thought out.  Yes, they make more money off of a PC title, but he just assumes that every single player would have purchased a console version instead of the PC version.  I for one would NOT have done so.  But, it also does not take into account players that don’t have computers capable of playing, but would definitely buy it for their console or just prefer console games and are holding out for a console version.  

      Anyways, I can’t believe the gigantic loyalties that developers give to Sony/MS – that’s absolutely ludicrous.  

      Also, I imagine it took a lot of investment up front, but basically doing EVERYTHING in house for like Blizzard does has got to be the way to go.

    2. “or choking at a particularly cheesy bit of NPC dialogue”

      I nearly die every time I hear the Skeleton King say : “You shall suffer, as I have suffered. Guards, bring me his bones”

      So so bad. I feel like I’m playing a Walt Disney game sometimes.


    3. Playing the words was not our intent. Because most ppl perfer to play in Asia server, however Taiwan region had a very limited supply. For what I’ve heard, some Taiwaneses were complain about that they can’t even get a physical copy of the game. 
      Limited supply with overnumbered buyers, so vendors in Taobao rises the price. A normal digitial copy in a price of 500rmb, which i think it’s about 80USD or something, and CE is about 200 – 500 USD now.
      Also, some vendors import their digital charge card or copy via Mycard, a Taiwan game charge card online store, and soon the store sold out in few days. Taobao vendors had so many orders but they can’t get their goods for customers either, amount of customer complaint about Diablo 3 rises in horrible waves. That’s why Taobao prohibit to sell overseas games. (Althought you still can find other legit copy of PC and console games such as COD series)

      Because in China we can’t get the game as soon as others, and ppl r so passionate about the game, that’s why this happened.

      Btw, I’ve heard a rumor, that when someone brought these Big Pineapple 3 things from Taobao, and the vendor delivered him three real pineapples, but because the item matches the title, Taobao would not accept any complaint in such case. So a big wave of frauds raise too.

      • Yeah, the queues were huge here in Taiwan.
        Also add to the fact that Taiwanese Bnet accounts cannot use credit card to buy the game from Bliz directly (unlike EU or US accounts), Battle net cards are pretty much bought out everywhere.
        Also, we Taiwan also had our own D3 related death, but apparently playing nowhere near as long as 72 hours, he was just too fatigued and his body gave up (he was a security guard).

    4. Well, the Blizzard Costumer Service did say that they will never resurrect anybody…

    5. Just because someone died while playing D3 doesnt mean that he wouldnt if he was doing something else…
      The only reason to blame od D3 is maybe if diablo him self came out of the game and killed him. 

    6. In China they have to market ‘illegal’ video games with fake names and pictures of fruits.  In America we have to market ‘illegal’ drugs as bath salts and sell them in pet stores.

      What next?  Cheepo scam artists in Korea filing FTC claims against Blizzard so they can get a chance at free Diablo III, being they can’t key hack the game ❓

    7. Sorry, but I do not feel sorry for people like this guy. He was an adult. He was overweight, and he should have known better than to sit for such a length of time without sleep or breaks.

      I took off the day after the game was released and gamed for maybe 12 hours…but I also got up, walked the dogs, ate, and took breaks.

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