A Blizzard community manager has told gamers to lower their expectations for the upcoming Diablo III hack and slash RPG, a surprising comment that might cause some fans of the Diablo series considerable concern.
“On a more serious note, I too worry that we won't be able to meet the expectations people have built up for themselves,” wrote community manager Bashiok. “Part of my job is managing people's expectations, so... eh... stop it. Stop thinking about how awesome this game could be. Just imagine it's a new M. Night Shyamalan movie. Sure Sixth Sense was amazing and Unbreakable had it's moments, but this right here is the sequel to The Village ... or The Happening ... or Signs ... or any of the movies besides the two I first mentioned. So just like, lower those expectations, but still definitely buy the game please, and everything will be just fine. K?”
This honesty may come as a shock to many who are used to community managers acting like part of a company's PR team, refusing to accept any blame and constantly twisting a situation so that it reads as positively for the company as possible.
Bashiok makes some good points about the hype surrounding Diablo III. It's been 12 years since the last Diablo game and 11 years since Blizzard began working on Diablo III. An announcement only came in 2008, but it's easy to see why players are expecting great things, given the long development process.
The problem is that if players are being told to expect just a good game rather than a huge improvement over the previous ones, Blizzard could run the risk of losing a lot of its frenzied customers. Given that the release of the game is only months away, that's probably a very unwise thing to do.