Activision Blizzard has set multiple new records with the release of its much-anticipated Diablo IV, the latest installment in its iconic Diablo series.
The game has already become Blizzard Entertainment’s fastest-selling game of all time, with pre-launch unit sales on PC and console hitting an all-time high, the company said in a press release earlier this month.
In the four days since early access began on June 1, players collectively spent over 93 million hours exploring the game’s expansive overworld, equating to approximately 10,000 years of game time.
“Our vision at Blizzard is to create legendary experiences for all to share, and Diablo IV is an incredible realization of that vision,” Mike Ybarra, President of Blizzard Entertainment, said in a comment. He added:
“With highly customizable gameplay, gripping storytelling, and plenty of options around how to engage with the world, this masterfully crafted expression of the Diablo universe is an outstanding example of what our talented development teams are capable of.”
Rod Fergusson, Blizzard’s general manager and head of the Diablo universe, has further revealed in an interview with Bloomberg that the game surpassed $666 million in sales in its first five days.
As per the latest data shared by the company, Diablo IV has recorded 350 million hours of gameplay since its debut, Fergusson said.
He added that the PC is the predominant platform gamers have used, but the company saw growth in consoles, including Microsoft’s Xbox.
According to data by Statista, Tetris is the all-time best-selling console game as of February 2023 with 520 million unit sales.
Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto V rank 2nd and 3rd, each with 238 million and 175 million units sold, respectively.
What is Diablo IV: All About the Game
Set 50 years after the events of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Diablo IV features the summoning of Lilith, the Daughter of Hatred, to the mortal realm of Sanctuary.
Players need to navigate an “infested land” plagued by horrific creatures, confronting world bosses and exorcising plagued strongholds along the way.
Players have the option to customize their gameplay experience, experimenting with skill trees to showcase complementing spells and abilities.
Moreover, players can explore the dark corners of each region, while building their skills. Driven by choice, players can choose how they want to progress, whether it be pursuing Lilith with laser focus or exploring the dark corners of each region.
The game features five classes, each with their unique abilities and play style. Players choose from the shapeshifting Druids, agile Rogues, elemental Sorcerer, brutal Barbarians, and ritualistic Necromancers.
The action takes place in an open-world environment, where players must explore five regions and over 120 dungeons, while confronting World Bosses.
— Mustached Gamer Cat (@elisdee_one) June 18, 2023
Once the main storyline is complete, players can gain access to robust end-game activities, including demonically challenging Nightmare Dungeons and Helltide.
There are also bounties and the Fields of Hatred, which offer designated grounds for battling other players and building PvP renown.
Diablo IV promises to remain exciting with the regular release of new expansions, providing new gameplay features, questlines, characters, challenges, and Legendary loot.
The game features cross-platform play and cross-progression on multiple devices and platforms, allowing players to enjoy the game on Windows PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.
Furthermore, it offers up to four-player co-op, including two-player couch co-op on consoles.
Microsft’s Blizzard Deal Faces Another Challenge
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued Microsoft to stop its $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard, claiming that the tech giant and Activision plan to consummate the deal without any further notice to the commission.
The FTC asked the US District Court for the Northern District of California to issue an order blocking the deal by the end of Thursday.
In a complaint last year, the FTC justified its decision by citing Microsoft’s purchase of ZeniMax Media.
Similar to Activision Blizzard, Zenimax is the owner of multiple popular IPs with the most notable being The Elder Scrolls and Fallout.
After the said acquisition was complete, Microsoft announced that Bethesda’s highly-anticipated future releases like Starfield and Redfall — most likely the name of The Elder Scrolls VI — would be Windows exclusives.
According to data from August 2022, Sony’s PlayStation 2 sold a whopping 158.7 million units in its lifetime, becoming the best-selling game system overall.
Notably, Microsoft’s best-performer game console ever is Xbox 360, which sold around 86 million units, which is still a far cry compared to the sale of gaming products by Microsoft.
However, there are still worries that Microsoft, if it purchases Activision, could seek to leverage its position to increase its market share by making more popular games exclusive to its Xbox consoles.
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