France Threatening Blizzard with Legal Action

As we saw previously in news from Korea about Blizzard’s offices being investigated and threats of class action lawsuits, we’re now hearing similar news from from France. The original article is in French (Google translation) but since MortusMox was helpful enough to include a nice summary of it in his news tip, I’ll just quote him:

In France, the very serious “UFC Que Choisir” organization (focused on protecting consumers of all kinds of products) has received over 1500 complaints in 4 days from gamers about connect-ability issues and has asked Blizzard to have a permanent solution within 15 days and to communicate completely and transparently about problems encountered in due time.

They are also requesting that affected gamers be given damages for troubles they may have had, and, in a much broader but more official manner, are asking the DGCCRF to have a close look at online-only DRMed games and how they work, including economically. They basically feel that it’s wrong to assume that an entire nation (well, at least France) has equal internet quality and reception across its entire territory and hence, online-only seems are harmful for some (many?) consumers (which is who they’re trying to protect).

It’s interesting that in countries with functional consumer protection agencies (e.g. not the US) we’re seeing judicial pressure on Blizzard for technical issues related to Diablo III’s online-only DRM and the RMAH.

A lot of you guys were strongly opposed to that system when it was first revealed, those complaints returned sevenfold when the “rocky” launch went off, and it’s still a vexing issue for many. But if anyone argued against it on legal grounds, I didn’t see those complaints. Now that the issue has been broached, any armchair lawyers want to leap into the commenting fray?


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  1. “It has begun.”

  2. As long as the box says “internet connection required to play”, you can’t sue them for a dime because your internet connection sucks. If the problems are Blizzard/ caused, you would have the right to sue them for at least a refund if the connection problems could be proven to be “unreasonable”. Good luck on that. And, tell the surrender-monkeys to shut up.

    • Would be cool to see someone sue them due to some statements made by Blizzard that “D3 gives the best experience online”.

    • Now now, chill down there grasshopper.

      They are sueing blizzard for the numerous connection issues. One one hand they force you to be online, but fail to provide satisfacatory quality and take your money ? Please, that’s suable in any part of the world.

      People would sue their ISP if that was the case, it’s just you who intentionally misinterpret everything.

      And please refrain yourself from calling people monkeys.

      • They aren’t “suing” anyone they don’t have the legal power to do so.
        All they can do is issue statements and fill a claim to public consumer protection agencies, which won’t go very far given french law and the fact that error 37 has been solved and only happened 3 days out of two weeks at peak hours.

    • hey, way to completely misconstrue the article! reading comprehension is important.

    • Here’s the thing though. The game requires online, and I have online. My connection is fine. But I still can’t play.

      Why? Because Blizzard’s service is down.

      That’s what’s wrong with the always-online. Its one thing to expect everyone to have high bandwidth internet, which is a stretch already, but its entirely another thing to require that and then NOT SUPPORT IT.

    • It’s just that in France laws are made to protect people’s interests.

      DRM are what is frowned upon, and if the french politics wish to forbid this kind of practice blizzard, and some hard DRM’d games might have to rethink their economical model. I mean, RIOT is doing fine isn’t it?

      Just for records, 70 M inh., with one of the wealthiest low/middle class in the world. Europe is not an option in a 2012 technological business plan…

      And btw, french ISP are the best in Europe, much more developped than US or asia ones.

      • False. France is fifth in the world for broadband. Japan and Korea are significantly higher. When I say higher I mean faster speeds and cheaper per mbps. France has damn good internets, but Korea and Japan still blow it out of the water.

  3. Wonderful!!! Draconian DRM needs to go, especially when the servers for a game that is online only are constantly going down or are a lagfest.

  4. Fair enough. People do the right thing and I hope that it will have a real impact on Blizz next steps.

  5. I hope the French courts win. And I hope Blizzard finally adds single-player and implements it in all territories. Right now the online-only system is the only reason I haven’t bought the game yet.

    • While I do wish there was an offline mode, I don’t believe it’s fair for any court to create a precedent where every developer of an online only game must provide one. The logic being used here in support of this notion would apply to any multiplayer online game. If this became law, it may cause a business to question whether or not if they will release their product to that market at all. Asking for anything more than a refund and an apology would be inappropriate.

      • Look at it in wider scale: An requirement to play singleplayer-games online only is just harassement of the customers. D3 is a game that can totally be played solo – as were its predecessors. There are even achievements especially for this playingstyle. There’s nothing but economic policy that speaks against an offline-mode. (Definitively not prevention of bots or hacks, as reality has proven already.) And that they’re asking for a closer look at DRMed games as a whole means, that the fight for the rights of the customers has finally begun – with D3 just beeing the drop that spills the water over the barrel. (The latter is a free translation of a german saying… don’t know if it is used in US/UK/Australia…)

        • The consumers already have the right to not purchase the game as the original poster has chosen to do.

          What more rights do people want beyond the complete freedom of choice?

          (and i guess the right to a refund… which is ironically probably easier to do because of the online DRM they know you haven’t made a copy of the software)

          Edit: I guess they want the right to tell blizzard what content to add to the game, and which platforms it available on, and how much it retails for etc.

          • We once had the right to do anything we want with the things we purchased.

            For example:

            – reselling the game
            – giving copys to our friends (, may be exclusive for germany. Dunno. It’s still a right we got ironed in law, but is nowadays hollowed out by DRM and other, corporatefriendly laws, such as…)
            – reverse engineering programms, so long as no profit is gained by it (, which is neglected for a while now by not beeing allowed to bypass copy protection – unless the program won’t run without bypassing it: Law is a rather complicated thingy…)

          • I can’t speak for Germany, but in America you have no more rights to the use of the software than as outlined in the user agreement you are presented while installing.

            If offline play, reselling, copying or reverse engineering the game are important to you, I recommend not purchasing Diablo 3 and instead purchasing Torchlight 1 or 2.

            If Blizzard were deceiving us into thinking there was no internet connection required, it’d be a different story.

          • In Germany, or more to say in Europe, the Eula, or any other agreement you have to accept before installing the game, is invalid in any point where it contradicts established law. Only where it doesn’t contradict, it applies. (edit: The latter may be wrong… Just remembered a discussion where it was said that one contradiction would invalid the Eula as a whole, not just in the point it contradicts with the law. Am not sure at the moment, which applies… sorry…)

          • Ok, have looked into it a bit: In germany, Eula is only a part of the trade agreement, if it is beeing agreed to before buying the software. In addition, there has to be the ability for the customer to strike out clauses he doesn’t agree to, formulate (or not formulate) alternate clauses for the ones striken out and even bringing in clauses of his own. (In short: The ability of individual negotiations of terms.) And even if the softwarecompany adheres to that, one single clause beeing against established law would invalid the whole contract.

            edit: As the Eula is usually delivered now, it is simply not binding (at least) for germans. Moreso, if Blizzard would ban your account for violating the Eula, we would have the right to sue Blizzard for it and the court would rule in our favor because that’s how the law here is…

  6. How many complaints did France’s consumer protection agency file against Blizzard from Nov. 2004 to present regarding WoW’s online-only DRM or “server stability” issues?

    This is just another example of the nanny state pushing business away instead of providing true consumer protection when it is warranted.

    • The obvious difference being that WoW is a strictly-multiplayer game, where being on line is an integral part of gameplay; where for D3 it’s only a way to force people on their servers so they can control the flow of the spice…err, money, and get them on the AHs.

    • UFC Que Choisir is a private consumer association – it’s NOT a government agency. Please inform yourself at least a little bit before talking out of your ass…

  7. This foe is beyond any of you!

  8. I don’t really approve of the whole suing culture and whatnot, and while I don’t like the online only DRM one little bit, I get why it’s there for multiplayer (but not singleplayer, being unable to play a singleplayer mode is utterly ridiculous) it is terrible that they put such limitations in place while not having the service to back it up.

    Living in Australia, I’m forced to connect to the US servers which results in 250ms AT BEST but frequently 400+ which really is unplayable. Yet there is zero support for Australian consumers as far as improving connectability is concerned – even though Starcraft II managed to have both a single player offline mode AND servers in Singapore.

    Diablo III is a great game and I love it, but they have made SO MANY mistakes that other Blizzard games do not – which is simply unforgivable. Being outclassed by another company is one thing, making your own new titles worse than your past ones isn’t.

  9. ” requesting that affected gamers be given damages for troubles they may have had,”

    😆 😆 😆 😆

    which would be what exactly ?

    😥 oh my, I could’t play for 4 hours 😥


    • I agree, I don’t see any damages here. Once Blizzard pulls out that amount of hours the average person plays the game, the amount of hours the people in the 10% are playing, and their statistically-probably-not-that-bad uptime statistics (and how they have improved dramatically since the first day), this should go away.

    • You forget: RMAH is going online on the 16th in Europe. In this 4 hours there may have been this one drop, that gains the customer 15€ on his account/paypal. And if he’s only able to play 10 hours a week due to work or such and the server is regularly down at he time one can play, then it summs up to quite a degree. Or if the player is selfemployed and the stress of supressing his anger is enough to decrease his efficiency of his work, then he may have quit a financial loss to deal with. (Also: Wednesday was the first time for Europe, when the server was up and running, when Blizz said it did. Usually, if they’d announced a two hours serverdown, we had to deal with six hours or more – hopefully up to now.)

      • Indeed! Not being able to play Diablo 3 when it’s down as cost me a serious amount of money. You see, my religion dictates that I must burn everything around me when I can’t do something I want to do.

        And nobody can argue against religion.

        Also, nobody can discriminate my religion just because it’s not mainstream. I have the same rights.

    • Nice, you just pull the 4 hour figure out of nowhere, present it as fact, and use it to trivialize the entire topic. Your ridiculous childlike overuse of smileys is just distracting enough to make the absurdity of your argument a little less obvious.

      I don’t live in Europe so I don’t have firsthand experience with the connectivity issues they have faced since launch but in theory I think French consumers are well within their rights to demand a functional product and compensation for the time they’ve lost trying to get the currently broken product to work.

      Most importantly, though, is that Activision-Blizzard pays an army of lawyers and executives around the world. While companies here in the US can generally get away with selling broken merchandise and running with the money it’s not like they weren’t aware of the wildly varying (often higher) standards and oversight in other nations. They chose to market and sell their product in those countries anyway knowing the risk they were taking. If that decision combined with their inability to make their product functional comes back to bite them the blame will be entirely their own.

      • no, what’s ridiculous and absurd is the whole lawsuit

        let’s say its not 4 hours
        let’s say its 40

        so what ?

        even if the server is down for 2 weeks straight, that still leaves 50 weeks to play the game

        even if the servers are down every other week that still leaves you 26 weeks to play the game

        if this were an mmo with a monthly fee then they would have a case

        but its NOT, there is only a ONE TIME FEE

        so these people aren’t losing a thing
        even if they only play every other week for the next 6 months its still cheaper than going to the movies

        trivial complaint is trivial

        whiny children are whiny

        • Well, it will be the judge’s job to appreciate if the service offered by Blizzard is conform to what Blizzard announced when it sold the game (this is what the people contest !), furthermore the judge will appreciate if the “conditions of use/user agreement” of the game are OK with consumer legislation.

        • None of that is relevant. Selling a game that requires constant internet connectivity to play and then failing to keep the game servers stable is clearly an issue and depending on France’s consumer law may be grounds for legal action. Blizzard knew what their responsibilities were under French law when they decided to sell and market the game there. If they don’t meet those obligations then they should rightfully have action taken against them.

          Also, I love the logic behind your argument. If you purchase a new vehicle and it’s so poorly built that it spends every other week in the shop for repairs would you be perfectly okay with the situation? I mean, you can still drive your car 26 weeks out of the year and you only paid a one time fee for it, after all. And buying a car was cheaper than purchasing a private jet! It would be a trivial thing to whine about, wouldn’t it?

  10. The issue here isn’t that Blizzard made the game online-only. That’s perfectly legal. Te problem is that they sold an online-only game, then didn’t have the infrastructure to back it up. The complaints are that the game doesn’t work because of Blizzard, not because of end-user issues.

  11. Now I will just get my popcorn and watch the show. Almost every big game company has fallen from grace past few years. BioWare, Square-Enix, Capcom, THQ, id, Criterion. This were all once great companies which make somewhat mediocre, at best, games today. And the sole reason for this amount of failure is greed and even more greed. Game companies are focusing more and more on profit and less and less on gamers. They forget that gaming scene was once pretty small market and so the quality won over quantity. And now Blizzard joins the failboat too and I will watch this failboat slowly sink with smile on my face. Small independent game studios is where real gaming is at now.
    You should look at Riot Games for example. They started pretty small at first, but worked very closely wiht community, had/have weekly patches and so on. And now they are one of the biggest independent companies on market and their game is attacking the eSports top money prize ever. And why? Because they managed to balance the desire to profit and make the game fun. Where Blizzard is currently only caring about profit.

    • Having worked for companies that have had good and bad consumer ethos, for physical product as well as software, I can unequivocally agree with erring on the side of consumer rights. As such, I hope the French case gets results.

      We should be all be attentive to and supportive of the efforts of consumer protection agencies to hold producers of content to a standard of consumer rights, regardless of what we perceive as the company’s good intent (as we all know, a well-intended army is only as good as its most sociopathic general!)

      However, it’s ridiculous to lump D3 into the “cash-in” bucket. Yes, Blizzard is a for-profit company. Yes, it’s rational and reasonable to expect them to sacrifice exactly as much “quality” for a higher return as they can possibly get away with, and with that in mind, it’s easy to look at the substantial problems with the game thus far and get into a conspiracy mindset of “they’re selling us shit in a bag RMAH DOOM DOOM!”

      But to characterize this game as a ca$h grab is idiotic. Do you think that a game company willing to sacrifice any quality for a last cash-in would even HESITATE at charging a monthly fee? Do you think they would have spent any amount of time iterating on the look-and-feel of the game, or its (frankly already quite amazing, with glaring flaws clearly being addressed) skill balance?

      To put it another way, when playing D3, do you really get the sense that they slapped it together like a half-assed viking funeral and lit the IP on fire? They have much, much easier ways to suck your money out for less work. Whoever still plays WoW will clearly hand over the cash no matter what they put out.

      TL,DR: Consumer protection is always a good thing, and I support this move. But calling this game a total sacrifice of quality for cash is stupid. It’s good! It’s just that Actiblizz’s accounting department needs to be reminded of the long view.

      • TBH i think the major point is this bit “ommunicate completely and transparently about problems encountered in due time.” After all Blizzard are not really talking about stuff they should be.

      • “But to characterize this game as a ca$h grab is idiotic. Do you think that a game company willing to sacrifice any quality for a last cash-in would even HESITATE at charging a monthly fee? Do you think they would have spent any amount of time iterating on the look-and-feel of the game, or its (frankly already quite amazing, with glaring flaws clearly being addressed) skill balance?”

        Diablo is not WoW. I don’t think people would have bought the game if in addition to the 40-60€ for the game you would need to pay an additional monthly fee. I certainly wouldn’t have if it was even half as expensive as WoW. Remember that, unlike in WoW, Blizzard doesn’t plan to add significant additional content outside of expansion packs (and the PvP that was long planned before and that people expect).

        Besides, if the RMAH is even a little popular, it should bring Blizzard a lot of money for almost no consumer backlash… So RMAH instead of a monthly fee is IMHO a very smart move (buisness-wise).

  12. I’m with legal actions cuz its seams that it is the only way that make monopoly companies like blizz actually listen .. it’s not only about lag issues .. the hacks the bots the rollbacks the endless maintenance schedules the whole online experience is a disaster and even the social features can’t make up 4 these fails .. rly disappointed

  13. I doubt they will win. I read this the other day (I’m French ^^), and in their argument the real issue – that whole “error 37” business – gets diluted with rants about non-related issues. I hope these make Blizzard consider allowing an offline mode though.

    PS: does anyone else find it funny that a belligerent organization like that has “UFC” in its name? 😛

  14. In France you can sue a company for latency issues.
    In America you can sue Mcdonalds for making you fat.

    God bless lawyers.

  15. If France have ISP that is so bad its their fault haha! And wtf if you can’t play online or don’t want to, you’re not force to buy the game, doooh. DRM so what? If you don’t have internet connection try game like torchlight!

    • It is blizzard EU server that fail, not the France ISP. Everyone in EU has seen error 37.

      If blizzard service is so bad and cant deal with legal issue, than dont sell outside of the US. No body is forcing you to sell if you cant deal with the critics.

    • What an asshole.

    • I concur with the above post.

      They are suing over the CONNECTION ISSUES. They would sue their ISPs otherwise.

      So.. I suggest you pick up a book and learn to read and spell maybe.

  16. Im glad because now adays this is the only way to get anything changed or fixed and thats threatening legal action. Sure you can go on and complain but your more likely to get attacked by blizzdrones or banned.

  17. Blizz only has to worry if they actually aren’t working to fix these issues, but we all know they are (see the game creation limit is one fix).

    Also am I the only one who sees the online only DRM as a good thing ? I mean, I’m an old D2 fan, so I knew from the start I would only play the online version anyway (AKA Closed BNET) so, would have suffered from downtime all the same since I wouldn’t making single player chars (except maybe for launch day… but I didn’t really have a problem playing then).
    Now what I know is that the DRM did help Blizz sell a lot more games, and also that it does make it way harder for cheaters to make effective bots and find exploits (compare WoW to D2). Also Blizz making tons of money off Diablo is very positive to me, since it hopefully will make them shift some of the focus they have on WoW over to Diablo. It’s fair to assume I would have to wait longer for content updates if the game sold half what it has.

    Overall it’s 100% positive for me, and I believe many of you guys too. And of course I still wish Blizz would better prepare themselves to actually host their millions of customers. They could have done much better on infrastructure, however I still believe online only to be a great idea.

    • “Also am I the only one who sees the online only DRM as a good thing ?”

      You may be…
      I don’t have a problem with DRM, but online only was an epic mistake. Many fans in the community expressed concern with it, and offered multiple suggestions as an alternative, but all were rejected without compromise. I absolutely, emphatically, disagree with the current online only design…totally wrong!

    • “I’m an old D2 fan, so I knew from the start I would only play the online version anyway (AKA Closed BNET)”

      What about old D2 fans that especially enjoy playing modded D2 on a LAN with friends?

  18. This is why Blizzard is located in America, a pro-corporation country where the government is for the corporations, not the people. You’ll continue to see problems like this arise as American corporations are unable to fulfill the consumer rights in countries that put the people first. We’ve seen this in the past with companies like Microsoft, Google, intel, etc. that get away with corruption in America but get nailed over in Europe.

    • … and at the same time, Europe is in the middle of financial crisis. Money rules the world, eh? 😕

      • Just a little reminder : US debt situation is worse than that of Greece. I wouldn’t want to live in the US once the world decides that the dollar is not a good worldwide currency anymore…

  19. I would gladly give up any right to access battlenet to opt out of the whole Online Only horseshit.
    All I want to do is farm for rares and legendaries and play solo and or some lan games with my friends and family, but mostly in my home network.
    Did that for 10 years with DII and didn’t connect once to bnet.
    Plus this RMAH stuff, wow, no interest.

    • Then why did you buy D3 at all? Buy Torchlight and have fun. Or you really believe that some lame POSSIBLE lawsuit can force them to add off-line mode?

      • ?? Because I love the game and have played it since D1, Hellfire and was a beta tester for DII. I can overlook all that and still love the game while disliking to the point of hating one component. Jeez.
        Of course Torchlight II is on the radar and will be a purcahse as will Grim Dawn.
        All that aside, the reasons only continue to mount against Online only.
        My 2 cents.

  20. I mean it’s contracts 101. Duty, Breach, Harm, Cause. Blizzard, so far as I can tell, owes us nothing. You know that the internet is required going in. If you can’t play, apart from your frustration, where’s the harm? You still can play the game, just not at the moment you want. Maybe later, maybe tomorrow. If there is harm, where is the loss? You lose nothing apart from some hours of your life, and I’d argue that if the game were functioning optimally, you’d lose the same thing.

    I’m not saying the current state of the game in the places in question (or substantively anywhere) is good, I’m not saying Blizzard has handled everything well (though considering the scope of the game I think they’re doing okay). But what we have here just does not seem actionable. Being morally/ethically/fundamentally wrong and being legally at fault for something for which there can be damages are at times very different.

  21. In essence pretty much the same as I wrote this morning in my blog post titled: “Will Blizzard get locked out by their own DRM?”

    I think there should be a global industry standard, as is the case with many products and other things. Here is a quote from me :): “What there needs to be is a industry quality standard for video games. Or a few of them to differentiate between “cheap” and “expensive” games I guess… Like there is for every other stuff. Some ISO-245352 or whatever. At least that would help resolving disputes easier by a third party like a judge when issues arise. Because, there is a hell of a lot of money going around in this business, but it is handled naïve, unprofessional and uncontrolled.”

    edit: does the US really have no consumer protection when buying products which doesn’t live up to expectations, standards or agreed terms? Seems weird to me. Anyway, the US is still a member of the ISO, which in essence tries to standardise(?) quality.

  22. Didn’t read the comments to see if any attorneys have weighed in yet, but my take (as an attorney) is that there isn’t much recourse in the US, other than getting your money back for the game. Since Blizzard is already providing refunds, there’s not much left to do as a disgruntled consumer.

    Technically, they could be sued for any number of silly things (false advertising, breach of contract, fraud) – the problem is A) winning your lawsuit, and B) your damages, which for most people, are only $60.

    (this is not legal advice)

    • I agree that a refund is probably the maximum you will get out of it. But for how long after release? I’m pretty sure D3, or any game, does not have a warranty. These are things that should be internationally standerdized, like with many products and technologies. Also I did some law studies, but I can’t remember that I ever heard of any jurisprudence on these kind of matters. At least not in my country.

      Bla bla bla, Anyway, people seem to mix up two things. It is not because of the online only DRM they are angry (yes, they should not have bought it), but about the fact that it is not properly working. At least not as promised. And until when can we use the product or will it be supported? Microsoft for instance has product lifecycles, so people know when it won’t be supported anymore. With a clear and defined roadmap. That is how it should be for online (or other dependencies) products.

  23. France has bigger economic issues to worry about right now…

    • yes. they should follow blizzard’s lead. Create a RMAH for baguettes in Paris and everything will be resolved! No need for adding intrinsic value anymore for nothing! problem solved! I will tell them next month on holiday over there! 😉

  24. It has just come to my attention that Diablo.Incgamers is not available while offline and as it is wrong to assume that an entire nation as equal internet quality and reception across its entire territory this online-only DRM that IncGamer’s is employing is unacceptable. You have 15 days to make the IncGamer’s network available offline or face charges from the UFC Que Choisir.

    • Did you pay to be up and available 24×7?

      No?, but you did pay for Diablo 3 to be available when you want to play it…yes?

      Seems reasonable to expect to be able to play a game you paid for, and much less reasonable to expect a website, that you didn’t pay for, to always be available.

      Focus please

    • @GLASS: I’m sorry if this offends you…. but that was just stupid man……

  25. The problem is very simple though:

    YOU need to stay online at all times to be able to play D3. Now this is a big thing for many, but for those that can live with it, and buy D3 anyways, are IMMEDIATELY screwed, if they live in a part of the world where there are no close servers. People in Taiwan can only connect to korean servers, but the korean servers are IP locked to korea.
    People in Australia having to connect to the US and recieve pings from 250-500 (prime time) is UNACCEPTABLE.

    Blizzard FAILED their consumers, HARD. For that I hope they get sued.

  26. What BS…. My god, are ppl serious? They are crying over a couple hours downtime!? AND they want compensation!?

    “It’s wrong to assume that an entire nation has equal internet quality and reception across its entire territory” uhm… WOW anyone? Seems there was no problem with their internet connection back in 2004? This is just pathetic…

  27. Verdict: Blizzard wins.

    You heard the prediction here first.

  28. Damn Communists.

  29. Blizzard must have good lawyers, they’ll have to deal with the hack fest due to the RMAH anyway…

  30. This is stupid. It’s a video game.

    Also, I support the online-only play. Personally, I have 0 interest playing this type of game offline.

  31. The game is online only, if you have a shit net connection play something else.

  32. How I imagine this:

    Blizz: “Welcome to the blizzard Store!”

    Idiot: “I’d like a copy of D3”

    Blizz: “okay, but just to warn you, it requires that you be online all the…”

    Idiot: “Shut up and take my money!”

    *two weeks pass*

    Idiot: “Now that I’m a valued customer, I demand that you remake the game because my internet connection is crap.”

    Blizz: “We can’t do that, would you like a refund?”

    Idiot: “No. I’m going to sue you.”

  33. Diablo 3 is an on line game.

    As such there is no complaint possible if Blizzard can prove it needs a weekly maintenance schedule of 8 hours.

    BTW, since May 31 the EU servers had no downtime except the usual weekly maintenance.

    Typical for the French.

    BTW the operational services in EU are operated in France.

    Everyone knows french technicians are the worst.

    Blizzard should have stayed in Brussels…

  34. How is it that Korea AND Europe have these “server problems”, but the North American servers do not? I have yet to have one single problem from Blizzard’s side since launch, besides some extended maintenance (And I expect that any way due to their work with World of Warcraft).

    France needs to stop QQing or else Germany will roll back in.

  35. People keep arguing that they should just add an offline mode to the game. What you don’t understand it that the client handles only all small fraction of the game systems. All loot rolls, for instance, are server side. For there to be an offline mode, they’d pretty much have to rebuild the game from scratch.

    It says internet connection required on the box. If you paid for it knowing this, and your internet sucks, tough crap.

    • Oh, see your problem here is that you’re using logic and the realities of programming in your argument. Anything’s possible, even an offline mode, if you just close your eyes and imagine it!

  36. LMFAO this is getting better and better!!1! I’m loving this immensely

  37. FALSE TRANSLATION !!!!!!! of that article.

    I speak french and you mixed up the info.

    The official questions are only about the protection of the customers when they purchase a product that can only be used on the internet and HOW Blizzard will address customers who bought a copy and can’t connect in a satisfying way.

    Nothing was said about the RMAH, the DRM, the server availability. THOSE statements were added freely by the author of the piece and even HE stated the DRM applied to other products (not to Blizzard as such).

    Next time try to let French speaking people translate the official statement before jumping to conclusions.

    I am a Belgian btw and I speak 4 languages and we “know” the french mentality all to well around here.

    Nothing to see really. It is a consumer organisation that simply wants to protect people with bad internet connection that bought D3 or other games that require an internet while the internet is not guaranteed to work with the same quality all over France.

    TO the OP of this site: I would very much like you to change your text as it will spread false information all over the internet.

  38. Good stuff!

    It’s always good when Blizzard has to update their “Lessons Learned” Documentations.

    Personally I think Diablo 3 is not an absolute winner, there are many aspects that make the game very frustrating and annoying.

    Sure, the game just launched and it will be improved over the next few years but that’s a must for any service provided to customers really.

    As it is now, Diablo 3 does not have “the flair” of Diablo 2 IMO, the missing Ladder with its ladder-only-perks, the missing runes & rune-words, the very shallow and “simple” item dynamic are really a downer.

    Ironically does Diablo 3 have more static game-environment than Diablo 2 (my perception).

    • That’s all your personal opinion.

      What D3 DOES have though is a better protection of both the customer AND Blizzard’s rights as a publisher.

      By eliminating the massive use of illegal copying, duping, and scamming of their products and the players through the use of internet servers that can AND will TRACE these illegal actions.

      The old Blizzard could not protect its products to be mishandled and exploited by thieves.

      They fought a long and winding battle with D3 and these last few days are simply winning the battle against these crooks.

      Anyone doubting the SERVER controls didn’t do their job hasn’t following the news in the last few days.

      SO D3 is much more securing the rights of the customer AND the producer than D2 ever did.

      Or perhaps that’s the reason you see the hate: unless you were one of the thiefs too.

      • ‘By eliminating the massive use of illegal copying, duping, and scamming of their products and the players through the use of internet servers that can AND will TRACE these illegal actions.’


  39. I hate online-only DRM, and I wish it would go, but I’m not willing to use violence to accomplish that, so I can’t support legal action.

    If you’re opposed to the DRM, your opportunity to show your dissatisfaction is by not buying it.

  40. I guess the there is are certain group of people out there out there that think if they whine and moan enough, Blizzard will release a stand alone client. Sorry its not going to happen. All the cheap French hackers and crackers who don’t want pay for software are SOL as well.

  41. Still blows my taco that so many peeps here take offense towards an offline
    mode. All Blizz has to do is provide an optional one time special patch
    that castrates the game from Bnet permanently.

    • Sure, a one time patch that would take them months upon months to create. Everything happens server side, and trying to create an offline mode at this point would mean to write code so that everything can happen on your end. I’d rather the Development team work on bug fixes, exploites, fixing skills and builds, and provide us the PVP matchmaking over an offline mode.

      Hell, why do people WANT an offline mode. So you beat Normal (yay), now what? You can’t trade your gear with others. You can’t spend your gold with others. You can’t play with others. When I played Diablo 2 Vanilla, I played up to Act 4 not knowing there was an online service. I discovered Battle.Net and never again played single player mode.

      tl;dr If you’re playing a Diablo game in an offline single player only environment, you’re doing it wrong.

  42. All if this outrage is a load of nonsense. Why do people feel so entitled to 100% server uptime? How is Blizzard responsible for damages? That makes absolutely no sense. You don’t sue the power company because a tree falls over and knocks out the power. Blizzard is offering a service that is available for years into the future for a one-time purchase that is perfectly reasonable. Doesn’t XBOX live have downtime? Are people going to sue over weekly maintenance or having to download patches? This is so ludicrous.

    Every MMO with more than a minute playerbase has launch problems. An appropriately powerful server can handle a lot of players, but when you open at a specific time and everyone logs in at once, you’re certain to have problems. Does online need to be 100% available only because there is no offline option? That doesn’t make any sense either. If you buy a game knowing it has single-player and multiplayer, you may buy the game not caring about single-player. Just because D3 doesn’t have the single-player fallback for those of us who prefer multiplayer doesn’t make the downtime any less acceptable than if it did. It’s very simple: D3 requires internet. As long as that information is clearly displayed on the box or at the time of online purchase, they owe you nothing. What’s the % uptime for the game over the first month it’s been live? 90-98%? It’s certainly not lower than 90%. Especially considering that number will go up as the weeks go by, that’s perfectly acceptable. People need to grow up and stop suing because they feel entitled. Don’t sue McDonald’s because you eat too much, just shut up and eat less. You have a right to be angry that you can’t play your game when you want to, but you can also be angry that you don’t have the money to fly to Hawaii every summer, or angry about not having faster internet in your area, but it’s no justification to sue. Just have to make the best of what’s available.

    • I’m not advocating law suits as compensation for downtime or perceived missed playing opportunities. But, from the beginning I’ve argued their online only design was unfair.

      And for those who have never had problems with online only, imagine how upset you would be if you did…daily. It’s easy to say people are making too big a deal over it until you’re the one not playing.

      Once I buy a game, I don’t want to ask Blizzard when it’s OK to play it. That’s like asking your computer if it feels like working today. No?, OK well maybe later? You should be able to play it 24×7, in one mode or another. should be built with enough redundancy that server maint and patching doesn’t affect gameplay. Otherwise, an offline option should have been implemented to compensate for this eventuality.

      • What does it matter if it isn’t fair? If you know you can’t handle a steady connection, then you should make decisions based on that. High shelves aren’t any more fair to height-challenged persons, and stairs aren’t fair to the those in wheelchairs, but this is a game we’re talking about, not an entrance to a hospital. If Blizzard makes a game you can’t play, that sucks, but you have no right to have the game cater to you. Diablo 3 is a game for people who have stable internet connections, and if you don’t have one and still choose to buy the game, you shouldn’t complain about the consequences.

        It’s also an exaggeration to say you have to ask Blizzard when it’s okay to play. The servers have been up most of the time since 48 hours after launch with only occasional and short maintenance. These events will only occur more infrequently as time goes on. Perhaps players on the Asia server are getting incredible amounts of downtime, but I haven’t heard that about the Europe realm and the US realm has been very available.

        You think the people offering a game without a subscription fee and massive online load should have at least double the number of required servers simply to maintain closer to 100% uptime? I’m sorry, but this is a game, not a bank. They don’t need 100% uptime and you don’t need 100% availability. Servers go down every tuesday for 5 hours? That’s perfectly acceptable. Once or twice a month there’s a 4 hour downtime for a patch? How are people getting angry about this.

        I think too many people are just used to everything being always available instantly, and for something to not be available is too shocking for them. The problem is, when you compare D3 availability to other games, it’s 100% acceptable. Diablo 3 isn’t breaking records in unavailability, in maintenance duration, in the amount of extended maintenance, etc. They’re patching a game that [u]just came out[/u] and dealing with issues such as excess server load from botters, hackers, and probably attacks on their servers. How does this justify a law suit when it’s life as usual for gamers? This isn’t the first online-only game.

  43. Sue everything 🙄

    They knew they were buying online only. Ive got an idea… Im going to sue our Main Roads Department. I got on the freeway the other day at 8am and couldn’t move. Thats not good enough!

  44. I think it sucks in general when DRM gets worse and worse for the consumers. I think it sucks that Blizzard didnt add a offline-singleplayer game mode for Diablo 3.

    However, I cant see how anyone could have a case here.
    Information was available for the customers to know about the online requirement with all the issues that arise from being on the internet, the EULA probably says something about server availability not being guaranteed etc.

    The EU servers do suck though.

  45. There are hard feelings still because the biggest reason that was given for DRM was security and all of the fan-boys and even blizzard itself bashed the single players and LAN crowd while chanting it.

    Now we know that security is a joke. The bots and account hacks are proof enough. As a longtime d2 player I wanted to give blizzard a chance but when my close friends hardcore account was hacked I changed my mind about the DRM.

    The threat was from the online community the whole time.

    Money talks, reason walks.

  46. Damages?? what DAMAGES have they incurred? it’s a F****** online GAME that they are in no way obligated or forced to play, EVER.

    • Reading some response i cant believe people are in such denial. It’s single player game with co-op mode and enforced online only DRM to gain profit from RMAH.

      Thats all end of story.

      • False. Diablo is not a single player game with a multiplayer aspect. It is a multiplayer game that you can play alone. Big difference. Asking to play D3 offline solo is like asking to play SWTOR offline solo. People knew it was online only before paying for it, so they can’t complain about that after the fact.

  47. France not happy, Korea not happy. No matter if Blizzard wins they lose because the next time these countries might not even buy a game from Blizzard. Blizzard loses even if they win.

  48. Heh, this is funny because France is bankrupt, oh, nobody is talking about it yet, but there it is. Blizzard literally has way more money to spend than France, or Italy, or Spain, or Greece, or Portugal or any number of other European States. Heck, this office would likely have been shut down if Sarkozy was re-elected. Let’s see France waste their money on this issue, I wonder if any of them will remember this moment as one of the straws that led to the breaking of the camel’s back when the Basque region declares independence heh

    • What are you talking about? The GNP of France is something like 2,178 billion. That’s two-thousand billion, or two trillion. Spain’s is higher.

      The way governments reckon money, the 300+ million that Blizzard made on D3 isn’t even on the left side of the decimal point.

    • France Bankrupt? no they are not the only country in trouble are Greece and Spain. The thing is France Debt is roughly the same as the USA debt in terms of debt vs GNP. So if France is bankrupt then the USA is as well.

      • Ding ding, you win a prize, the US is bankrupt as well, just because you can print money, basically using a plastic cup to bail water out of a boat quickly filling with water. Whatever, it would take pages and pages of comments to show you the evidence.

  49. personally if i were blizzard i would just take down all the servers, file bankruptcy, tie it all up in court for 10 years, and let all you whiners burn along with the game.

  50. I wish them the very best of luck and also to anyone else who challenges what Blizzard are doing with D3 and Bnet. Blizzard have become the definition of Ivory Tower. Their decisions are more and more worrying with every product.

    Many people have been able to play D3 for countless hours, but to me it is a malfunctioning product. I paid full price for something that doesn’t work. The last 2 weeks I have barely been able to play, between downtime and lag its just a mess.

    Also, all the people on this thread who are arguing against the consumer are fucking retarded. Go play devils advocate somewhere else.

    • So sue EVERY on line only game that has been made than…

      I can cite you at least a thousand games/products like that: EVERY browsr game, EVERY MMO, EVERY DOTA kind of game, EVERY poker on line game…

      Starting with WOW … that had FAR MORE on line problems and exists since 8 years…

      EVERY on line service has hic up problems.

      Why don’t you guys sue everything on the internet.

      Hey I would sue the internet …

      See what you did there ?

      And talking about the RIGHTS of the customers. The server structure PROTECTS the rights of the player AND the producer far more than the previous off line edition of Diablo 2.

  51. la sange est sur la branche

    • Pas du tout en j’ en ai mare des francopohones. Bla Bla Bla mais rien dan la tête et en même temps copier tout ce qui existe sur l’internet.

  52. Why haven’t they done this with any of the many DRM-ridden titles released over the past many years?

    • Yeah, I would sue every MMO, webbrowser game and DOTA on line game published in the past 12 years.

      So stupid.

      • You know, differentiation is a quality that can be learned… Or do you really prefere Schopenhauers “Eristic Dialectic” over decent discussions?

  53. Holy shit bro, the US lacks a consumer protection board?
    Aha..Ahaha…AAAAAhahahahahaha…..Buhahahahahahahahaha Ahahahahahahaha!

  54. I’m confused, aren’t the French playing on the EU server? There hasn’t been barely any downtime apart from maintenance and the launch were one of the smoothest I’ve experienced for any online game. Perhaps this would be a case in US or KR, but EU? Not very likely.

    Also was Diablo 3 ever marketed as a single player game?

  55. There is a perfectly good case against Blizzard here. They distributed a product for monetary value and they purposely disallow the consumers from using the product by taking servers offline or not maintaining a stable connection.

    The game was sold as a game that people can play. If a person can not play the game due to Blizzard’s fault then Blizzard charged people money for a product which does not work. Blizzard will lose this suit.

    And all they had to do was allow people to play offline.

    – International Law Specialist

  56. From what I read its an investigation into online games and what the expected conduct is and should be by companies that are running the games.
    IE if there is a problem the consumers have a right to know that the problem exist and a rough guide line of how long it going to take to fix. Also stuff like the skill hot fix should be spelled out when its applied etc.
    Its a fact that Blizzard does very little communication on the EU board compared to the USA ones)

    Anyway the USA don’t have an consumer standard organisation at all? I am surprised that the USA is drowning in stuff that breaks down in a very short time if that the case, after all theres no reason to make it last (ok you can sue them but then they just roll out that the life time of the product and you where told that defence and win).

  57. I remember when WoW first launched, we had a crap ton of server issues. Blizzard had to remove boxes from stores because they couldn’t handle new players coming in, and the first couple of months were rockey. It was stable-ish, until you tried doing an instance or enter Ironforge/Orgrimmar. They even came out and said in 2005/2006 that they were in the process of adding new server hardware to handle stability. On my home server, we had guildes transfer to other servers (BEFORE they had server transfers) to avoid the lag.

    And guess what? No body sued Blizzard for their long maintenance, their under-performing hardware, or handing out OneDay Free game time (aka billing your account one day later, not really free).

    I love how the article states that “Blizzard assumes that every one’s internet is equal quality”. Blizzard can do as they damn pleased. If they wanted to make a game that required you to have a T3 connect and state so on the box, they can do that.

    Long story short, the consumer (I wish we were called customers again) is never right. In most cases, the consumer is an idiot.

  58. This whole idea is idiotic. I can’t wait until it falls flat on its face.

  59. I’m French. (sorry if my english is bad :p I hope you understand)

    I can explain our point of view. If a company offers a service, the French law considers that this service must be operational 98% of the time. If this service is not functional, then there are scam for consumers.

    If the service is not running on time, the company must (it is a legal obligation) to compensation or part-cons to consumers who request it.

    An example to understand: you rent a car from 8:00 to 12:00. Would you agree if the society told you that you are not allowed to drive between 11:00 to 11:30 because they want to change a tire? You paid for a 4 hour, the company must provide this service during 4 hours. Otherwise it’s a scam.

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