Diablo 3 Popularity: Over One-Million People Play Every Day


Jay Wilson’s long-anticipated Diablo 3 discussion at GDC went off today (Wyatt’s is tomorrow). There’s no video or transcript yet, but Gamespot has a short piece covering what Jay said about the player population.

Diablo III logs around one million unique players per day, former game director Jay Wilson revealed today during a Game Developers Conference panel titled Shout At The Devil: The Making of Diablo III. Wilson also noted that over 3 million unique gamers play Diablo III every month.

Yes, but this means 9m people don’t play Diablo 3 every month, and judging by the comments threads on Battle.net, about 8m of them stop by to make sure everyone knows it.

Tagged As: | Categories: Battle.net, Blizzard People

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  1. It may be a year or so more till the expansion comes and D3 will be as popular as D2:LoD was, it took a few years ( patch 1.08 iirc ) for Starcraft 1 to become as popular as it was later on ( balance changes ). I still have faith they’ll make the game better.

    Ps. With 600ish hours played in D3 it’s still much more then most of the other games I play nowadays.

    • One can only hope. But at the present, my hopes have grown quite thin: There simply are a lot of problems to cover. And quite a few of them take root in damaging design decisions in core mechanics, that would have to be adressed by the expansion. But we’ll see…

    • the game’s awesome and is just getting better.

      It’ll be a long time before the expo though. I predict announcement at Blizzcon and then about 1-1.5 years before actual release, knowing how Blizzard works. So likely there are at least 2 more years to go.

      • Nine out of ten million (, or nine out of twelve, or whatever, ) seem to disagree… I know that you’re only voicing your opinion here, but it is stated as a fact…

  2. In before some people say “bullshit” on those numbers.

    Anyway, I do agree with Jay on the auction houses really hurting the game. They should have placed a number of restrictions so it didn’t feel necessary to progress in the game.

    • hmm i wouldn’t call BS on them, I actually think they are incredibly Low and show the overall bad reception of the game. That’s over what 10.5 or 11 million copies sold so less than 10 percent of the player base decided to stick around for d3. Let’s also not forget that is a Global figure so you may have a few hundred thousand US, asia, euro etc.

      Pretty awful figures considering, imo. Anything above a 20 percent retention would have been great. Above 30 percent would have been reallly good. Less than 10 percent ? meh.

      • Yes and lets not forget bots. I am running 4 bots right now and I know a lot of people that bot.

        • you should get killed right now !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          you mf idiot !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          you are to lame to play but on the other hand you are whinning about stupid thing like al the rest do.
          i really hope they ban you en burn your comp.

          • I can understand your reaction and it’s quite ok to display your discontent, but he’s still a human being, so please refrain from personal offense when doing so.

      • Some of that 10 million would have been the WoW subscriber deal where D3 was bundled for free. A lot of those were going to be casual gamers and would play the game through, complete it and that’s it. Some who bought it digitally/box would also fall into that category, play it, complete it and move on. They were never going to be long term players still playing it 12 months later.

        I believe the wow players were specifically targeted as many of those are used to an AH and would hopefully readily venture into the GAH and a month later the RMAH and help kick start it. It didn’t really matter that their numbers would fall, especially come Sept when the WoW XPack came out.

        I think 1 million gamers logging in each month is a reasonable number considering there are still things not quite right with the game AND it’s a year old.

  3. I wonder how many of those 1 million are bots and people just playing the auction house?

      • Is this an informed guess?

        • No, just a wild guess, I could have said 0.001%, I don’t think there are (is?) a lot of bots. Sorry, english is not my first language.

          • Mine neither: I’m from Germany. That’s part of why my posts are full of errors at times ^^

            As to the numbers of bots: I sure don’t know the real number. I’m not in the slightest informed on the botting scene. But I experienced how big that problem had grown for D2. And as it’s possile to directly cash out in D3, it’s unplausible to think that the number of people trying would have lessened in the transgression from there.

      • I mean: If chimpomon tells us the truth about his usage of bots (, for which he has lost all respect in my eyes), then we’re already at 0.000004% of daily players botting. Just more than one and a half other players with his ammount of bots running, and your estimate starts beeing a little low…

        • amount – If a mod cares to edit, please, he would have my gratitude. Bringing back the function to edit my slips out myself would be the prefered option, though 😉

        • Correction 2: Not “daily players botting”, but “bots in the number of daily players” … Sorry. That mistake was out carelessness and not just a slip. Please accept my apoligies.

  4. I don’t know by what golden standard people seem to judge this game by, but this kind of player retention 10 months down the road is nothing short of outstanding for a game that isn’t an MMO, and frankly even for most MMOs.
    And let’s please not parade D2 as that golden standard, ’cause outside of subjective observations no one here can quote any reliable info on its player retention.
    I know I might get some flak for this, but I’ve stopped reading most of the article’s comments for some time now, as all the unbiased commentators seem to have gone on an indefinite vacation and left this site to the trolls and haters. I can only hope that some constructive debate returns at some point…

    • We’re just going to have to disagree. For how many copies of d3 sold that’s not outstanding at all. D3 was designed to be a longterm grind fest fashioned after MMO’s * cough * wow. less than a 10 percent global retention for the game is not outstanding. It’s not horrible sure, but hardly anything to brag about. I wouldn’t be suprised if a 5th of those unique players are bots anyway :o.

      • Why do you fixate on the “1 million per day” figure when they said that there are over 3 million unique players per month. With 12 million copies sold, that’s way over 20% retention rate. I’m actually surprised there’s so many playing, even if I think D3 is a great game. Sure, haters are gonna say that “90+% are bots!” but that’s a whole other topic and something that can’t be proven one way or the other.

        • You realize that this number of 3 million also includes the people, who just take a look into the game trying to find out, if the flaws that keep them from enjoying the game are finally patched out? 5 minutes in 30 days are enough to make the statistic…

          • Yes, I do realize that. But do you realize that disregarding those 2 million+ players is a huge error because they are not “lost players”. Even if they play only a little they still play. Isn’t that “player retention”?

          • Of cause they aren’t to be forgotten. But the “one million per day”-number simply is the number with greater statistical certainty, where the discrepancy between what the number suggests and what the number really entails is much smaller. Thus it simply is the better number as a basis for a discussion.

            Also: A million per day for a month is an expression of consistency. The number three million is presented totally out of context to data of previous months and could be especially high or especially low for a number of different reasons. (Most of all perhaps a patch-day) Also not a good basis to work with.

            (Sorry if the meaning of my post is a bit hard to decifer. I don’t know the technical expressions concerning statistics in english and had to rely on a dictionary here…)

          • I have to add: Although Wilson seemingly has expressed the 3 million in context of “every month”, I find it hard to accept that the playerbase has declined to a stable, reliable state already. After all it’s just 10 months after release of a game where the focus lies on replayability. And if so, I’m quite interested to hear, how sharp the decline was to reach this stabel state. So I count this part as being a simple PR-expression, which may indeed be a wrong assumption on my part.

  5. Why do they even let someone who either jumped ship due to public backlash or got fired due to public backlash (depending on who you believe) continue to release any kind of public statements about the game?

    Beyond that… Why release some arbitrary BS number like 1 million players a day at this point in the game? The people who REALLY hate them are no longer around to read it. The people who moderately hate and distrust them (such as myself) won’t believe it and the people who love them no matter what would swallow any number and probably don’t even need to be told that anyway. So what’s the point?

    I do love that Master of the Obvious Wilson is finally able to point out glaring gameplay flaws like the AH and AH centered item drops that HE allowed through and then tried to ignore until the day he resigned. It’s something that people where raging about before the launch. Way to go Jay! I’m sure everyone believes you that your old team is working furiously on it. The check is in the mail.

  6. 1 million unique Diablo 3 players per day just proves 1 million people on earth have a bad gaming taste. I could also give you numbers about unique people who listen to rap music regularly without making it any less despicable.

  7. 10% retention is pretty awesome for a game in this day and age, especially considering that it’s been nearly a year since release.

    • I already tried to search for the numbers of active daily players of D2 on BNet alone, but my searching skills are quite lacking. I do remember an article from around a year before release of D3 and the number 1.5 million in context to it, but as I can’t find it, I can’t be sure. (And on top of it my memory keeps saying that the number was from europe alone.) If I remember correctly, that’s quite impressive for an over TEN year old game. But as I implied: My memory can be quite wrong there. And as SirAdis said above, the expansion may turn the wheel to amend the discrepancy in longterm-replayability.

      • Your memory indeed cheat on you. D2 had 100-150k players overall before D3 launch. Now that number only slightly above 10k. And most of them are bots, and was bots in the last few years (3-4). I’m still not a proper source, but I has had to play D2 actively since 2004, and i sometimes check’d the players number with the /users command.

        In my opinion, 1 million player/day is pretty impressive, i have many friends who have bought D3, but dont play with, and not because the game is bad, but because they are playing something else, like BF3, CoD, or just an MMO on PC – of course, these friend are not “die-hard-diablo fans”, and im sure, at least half of the buyers (6 million people) is also not a hardcore Diablo fan, or more. So, in this context, i think 1 million player a day, and 3 million a month is pretty awesome stats.

        PS: Sorry for my bad english.

        • Just to set your numbers in a reliable context: On which realm where you playing? “/users” is only showing the numbers of the singular realm, not the numbers overall… (The activity was near constantly bigger on EU than US, which was still low compared to Asia. THIS I remember from a lot of articles over a long period of time and thus am quite sure of my memory there ^^)

  8. hahahaha they lost 9 milions players that was so fun hahahaha

    Jay wilson is biggest epic fail in pc history hahahahahaha

    • We don’t really know if this was not just part of the plan and thus can’t estimate, if it was not really a total success in their longterm planning. That playing innerhalve your local peer group is reintroduced with the concole version, while it was kept (mostly) from the pc-version by keeping out LAN-mode, is a quite suspicious indicator to me regarding the political changes in the company. Just an indicator. No proof, though…

  9. Now how many of those 9m “lost” players will buy the expansion? I’m going to guess more than half.

    • If that would be true, then the game would indeed be the worst failure Blizzard ever had and could well be the gravestone for Activision-Blizzard as a company.

      • More than half could mean 4.5 to 9 millions. combined with those 3 million allready playing thats 7.5 to 12 million for the expansion and 19.5 to 24 m copies selled for both games.

        • It technically can mean up to 9 million, yeah. But that’s not what slyraje meant. (@ slyraje: Please correct me, if I misunderstood you there.) Let me clarify what I mean by setting some numbers:

          Considering Blizzards history of success, more than 20% copies of the (first) expansion pack sold less than the original game would already be an unexpected high loss. Over 30% less copies of expansions sold, and the miscalculation is already in the area, where compensating the numbers to keep the shareholders happy enough and the cashflow of the mothercompany Activision-Blizzard running would be quite a feat. The dependency there is not, how the numbers look like compared with the whole market, but solely if it matches what the shareholders are used to from Blizzard and thus if reliability in predictions can be achieved.

          Also, as I’ve already said above: Don’t rely on the said number of 3 million per month as saying something about the actual fluctuation of players happening right now. It could be, that it does. But as there is too much context missing around the number, we just can’t say at the moment that this number is an actual fact. If it’s a PR-number instead, most probably also with the motivation to keep things quite (, especially with the shareholders), then worst case scenario is that it may just be the average of players per month with all months since release included into the calculation. That’s 10 months now, which would still leave the huge amounts of unique players right after launch having a fairly strong impact in raising the average, which would also mean that the number is totally unreliable to conclude the actual active playerbase at the moment from. (Keep in mind that taking and representing the average is a commonly used standard tool when lying with statistics. Doing it over and over again and connecting the invidivual values in a graph also lets a sharp drop appear as quite moderate.) The actual fluctuation, as it is today, could then already be in the area of adding just another .2 to .5 million players to the number of daily players for the actual number of monthly players.

          I don’t know how the number came to pass, but the date in context is not enough to rule anything out yet, which is the simple reason why the number of monthly players is not reliable, perhaps yet. The future is not written and we can only speculate on what we know.

  10. “Yes, but this means 9m people don’t play Diablo 3 every month, and judging by the comments threads on Battle.net, about 8m of them stop by to make sure everyone knows it.”

    LOL. Flux is the best.

  11. I wonder what the number is with bots factored out.

  12. The key word in there is “log” not play. They probably log to check if their items sold on the AH and the system counts em as “players”… some gaming population that is!

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