A Blizzard vice president says he's "actually kind of surprised" over the negative reaction
many players had to this week's revelation that Diablo III would require a persistent online connection
for its single-player mode.
While critics see Blizzard's decision as a draconian DRM scheme along the lines of those recently implemented by Ubisoft
, Blizzard VP of online technologies Robert Bridenbecker told MTV Multiplayer
the requirement actually stemmed from a desire to maintain "the sanctity of the actual game systems."
"You're guaranteeing that there are no hacks, no dupes," Bridenbacker said of the system, which guarantees single-player Diablo III
characters wouldn't be unduly overpowered if and when players brought them online.
"What are we going to have to do about those players that are in the offline environment coming into the online environment?" he asked by way of hypothetical. "We said we don't want to look at that... let's just keep everything clean."
"When you look at everything you get by having that persistent connection on the servers, you cannot ignore the power and the draw of that," he added.
Bridenbecker went on to clarify that a persistent online connection would not prevent players from playing by themselves. "Your character will be stored on a server, but it doesn't mean you have to socialize with people," he said.