Diablo 3 Can be Exciting and Compelling on Consoles Says Sams

While we all wait for the PC release of Diablo 3, console gamers will be hoping that Blizzard do eventually bring the game to consoles. C&VG spoke with CEO Paul Sams at what we suspect was the MoP press event a couple of weeks ago to find out more.

We’re continuing to explore [Diablo 3 on consoles] We think that the way we built it for the PC may need some tweaking, but it will ultimately be the type of game that can really make sense and be really fun, well polished and a true Blizzard-level experience on a console.

“We get a lot of questions about why we haven’t made a game for consoles before and I tell them the same thing I tell them about business models: we don’t let business models or platforms drive our decisions. Those are secondary to what’s the most important aspect for us which is the gameplay.”

With Sony and Microsoft placing guidelines on all console releases on their platforms, Sams added:

“Well, honestly, that certainly is an impactful part of the decision. If I’ve got to jump through 17 different hoops and pay a lot more money to be on a console, that causes you to pause. But that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t do it if we thought we could deliver a Blizzard-quality product on the platform and it was right for the game in question.

“That’s why we’re looking at it for Diablo III; we think that we can have a really exciting and compelling experience that will play well on console in addition to PC We do feel it’s an exciting opportunity. If we feel we can have a game on multiple platforms, then we’ll do it. We’re not afraid to – that’s for sure!”

If Blizzard do decide to go ahead let’s hope they don’t go as far as they did with StarCraft Ghost before making a final decision.

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29 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Can be Exciting and Compelling on Consoles Says Sams

  1. All gameplay changes are because of console dumbing down conspiracy posts in 3…2…1…

    • I can picture the interface now…..
      (and people thought the controls would be dumbed down for a console!)

    • The retina iPad isn’t powerful enough to run Diablo 3 at the screen’s resolution… Playing downscaled would kind of defeat the point of the display also.

  2. “we don’t let business models or platforms drive our decisions.”
    Sign of the Activision influance. They simplified most if not all systems and mechanics in the game in past 6 months, and then tell lies that they will never do sucha things. They already got CoD bussiness model implemented to WoW (aka new exp every year), whats left? Mass DLC’s per title for a SMALL fee 🙂

    • What successful MMO doesn’t come out with regular expansions? If you want people to prolong their subscription you have to be providing them with additional content as they complete what exists.

  3. Blizzard needs to concenrate their resources on making great PC games, NOT screwing around with consoles! Blizzard has no competetive advantage when it comes to making console games.

    Blizzard’s “console journey” is embarrassingly half hearted!

    Now get back doing what you are good at!! 

    • The console market is huge these days. Blizzard would be foolish to just ignore it if they want to survive and keep making games well into the future.

  4. I don’t know.  It seems like a good idea but I don’t know how valuable it would be.  One of the biggest things about blizzard games is that they keep them up-to-date with frequent patches and fixes.  The consoles kind of ruin that, as they charge a significant amount of money to roll out patches.
    Seems like this would lead to incongruent patch states on PC and Console, which just doesn’t seem like blizz. Also I’m skeptical as to whether it would even happen on Xbox.  I can’t imagine blizzard jumping through all the hoops that ms makes devs jump through to have an online experience. 
    I really would like to play the game with a gamepad, or some sort of direct control.  But playing it on a console isn’t really an option, and I would hate if I had to play on a console to get that experience.  Plus all of the inevitable QQ storm if Consoles got offline play and PC didn’t. 
    Seems risky.

  5. I actually think the game WAS and IS designed for a quick port over to the console.  Limiting players to 6 active skills, highlighting monsters with a red outline if selected, getting rid of right clickable consumables (fixed town portal button, no identification scrolls, assigned health pot slot), AH having pull-down menus with text filters being secondary, static maps with interchangeable interior tiles, etc…

    Don’t get me wrong, a lot of polish and streamlining comes along with console games (if done properly).  I just think it is a complete sham for Blizzard to say that they are just toying around with the idea of D3 on consoles… it will probably be out by Christmas (2017) 😛

    • Unfotunately you are probably correct. It annoys me purely because if we get a console port on PC of a game then there are always issues – terrible menu systems, fov locked at a vomit inducing 60 degress, etc.
      Making a PC game and sending it to console? Pre-fuck the interface in the pc version so it works on console. Screw you guys, I’m going home.

    • “the way we built it for the PC may need some tweaking”  I mentally inserted the word “small” before tweaking.  But, hey, at least the PC version came first.  Tried a game last week on PC, and, when I went to change the control options, the 360 controller was the only option given.  Classy.

    •  To play Devil’s advocate:

      Diablo 1 had a red outline around monsters when you hovered over them as well, and Diablo 2 also made the monster you were hovering over light up (albeit not with an outline). The red outline is not evidence of console-oriented development; it’s entirely consistent with the series.

      In a game with random items, searching by affix/bonus is much more intuitive than searching by item name, whether you’re on console or PC, and it makes sense to have those in a menu. This isn’t WoW with a static number of items; some of the best stuff in D3 will be entirely random.

      The limit of six active skills is as much for gameplay balance as anything. More active skills would cut down on build diversity exponentially.

      ID and TP scrolls were basically just a pain, and I don’t think getting rid of them had anything to do with console development. It’s not like they won’t have a function for “select this item in my inventory and interact with it” on a console port one way or another. Gems are still in the game, and I expect they’ll be even more complicated for the UI than a TP or ID scroll. 

  6. I can not fathom playing a click frenzy game on a console. It doesn’t make any sense to me and will take away 98% of Diablo jokes.

  7. Well, D1 was on console before so if they wanna make another version of D3 in ther future then I can’t see what’s wrong with it. Don’t really care about stupid haters that always scream ” wahh Blizz dumbed down D3 to port it to console!”.

    • You missed the point. It’s fine to have a console port, as long as both games are separate entities. Console Design doesn’t really work on PC and vice versa, so “stupid haters” have a point there. There have been games which design was severely dumbed down just for a quick console port – just have a look at Deus Ex: Invisible Wars.

  8. Consoles are the only chance of getting a version of D3 that you don’t have to be online to play.

  9. “we don’t let business models or platforms drive our decisions.”
    This just shows how stupid they think we are. How the fuck can you lie like this? Fucking Activision. If you don’t let business models drive your decision then why the fuck did you introduce RMAH ? If you don’t let platforms drive your decision then why the fuck is the game so dumbed down? And most of all… who will believe this crap they spew?  

  10. Lol at this whole “we are still exploring D3 on consoles” bullshit. Its obvouse they tailer made this game for consoles. The sticky targeting and large hitboxes are most likely included so that contollers can aim easier. The UI also screems console…

  11. While I’ll grant people the argument that D3 seems more accessible to a console than D2 did, there are still plenty of things that would have to change. The biggest one is targeting and it would require many of the skills to be reworked for casters: Using a gamepad, how would you easily cast past a group of monsters onto your target? There are too many monsters to select targets….  Then the UI needs to be reworked to get rid of the semi-Tetris layout which would be a pain to navigate using a selection box.  And of course you’d have to rebuild the system to use the Microsoft/Playstation/Nintendo servers.
    Not as hard as D2 but not a walk in the park either…

      • @marshmallow That would work for your average RPG but this being an isometric ARPG, the pace is way too fast for that…You’d have melee monsters swarm you by the time you can accurately place the target.

        As an example, see this link for a broad list of the changes that the Torchlight devs had to make to port it to the XBox:  http://forums.runicgames.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=16116&p=135983 The problems are compounded in D3 because these changes would affect the nature of the skills, which therefore requires rebalancing for PvP and trading.

  12. I’m mainly curious to see if A) console versions of the game will be online-only, and B) there could be cross-platform compatibility for multiplayer. I’d love to play online (on my PC) with some of my friends who’ve turned to console gaming.

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