Blizzard devs are confident of a smooth launch for Diablo 4

After several delays and multiple public tests, Blizzard Entertainment is finally ready to let Diablo 4 out of its cage in three weeks.

We have had some lackluster releases in the last few months. Redfall and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor are just two of the recent AAA titles that shipped with game-breaking issues. But, if you ask Blizzard, it's confident that it can buck the trend as it has committed to a smooth launch next month for Diablo 4.

Diablo 4 had several public beta tests months before launch.

According to the developers of the upcoming dungeon crawler installment, the several beta tests for Diablo 4 have had a "transformational" effect on the game. The devs believe that these beta periods will help ensure that the game will have a smooth launch.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Diablo 4 art director John Muller and associate game director Joe Piepiora each shared why they think it's important for the game to have beta tests.  They explained that these tests aren't for marketing purposes only and that they play a crucial role to ensuring the game launch is as trouble-free as possible. 

"Every one of these betas has been transformational in terms of our understanding of our own technical capacity and what we need to do to make that a smoother launch experience in general," Piepiora said. "So it's been great."

Piepiora shared that Blizzard has been running internal testing on Diablo 4 for over a year. Tests involved seeding servers with millions of automated accounts that did basic things like looting and equipping gear, killing monsters, and working within a party. The studio learned a great deal from these preliminary tests but there is no substitute for actual gamers playing the game.

Blizzard has been testing out the game for over a year now before opening it to public betas.

"When you have people coming through different ISPs and coming in through different servers around the world, there's so much more data you get from that," Piepiora explained. "And with each of those we found lots of little things that happen, like this happens with clan invitations, this happens when you join a party in a certain way - lots of little things like that across the board."

He adds that these tests are not meant to entice players to buy the game. Devs need to gather data to make sure that the launch goes off without a hitch. Players participating in betas give feedback and report on issues giving devs insight into how the game will perform during its release.

"These are not marketing betas, none of them were. Everything has been about, we need data to make sure the launch goes smooth. That's entirely the purpose of the betas we did."

He continues, "And we learned a tonne. Even this last one where it was really smooth - people didn't have long queues leading into getting into the experience - we still found things happening in the back end that if left unresolved, would have resulted in some issues during the launch experience. We caught those only because we did this extra weekend."

The devs are confident that the game will launch smoothly next month.

Mueller shared these tests took a lot of effort to run but said that it was worth it. He is confident that the launch experience will be as straightforward as it can be for players.

"Each one, it's a tonne of work to put them on," Mueller said. "It's not a trivial thing for us to do. But we see the value as being worth it. And again, it's not a marketing thing. It's really about getting that information so we know day one is going to be as good as we can possibly make it, and that we just feel confident going in.

"So, currently right now we feel really confident."

Diablo 4 is coming to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on June 6, 2023.

Darryl Lara

Darryl has been gaming since the early 90s, loves to read books and watch TV. He spends his free time outside of gaming and books by riding his motorcycle and taking photographs. You can find Darryl on Instagram. Check him out on Steam and Xbox too.