Diablo 3 has been making waves on the PC platform for over a year now, and now the dungeon-crawling action-RPG is making its way to Xbox 360 and PS3 on 3 September 2013.
Blizzard has opened up about the choice to bring the game to consoles, as well as the changes and sacrifices.
“While we always thought that Diablo III on the console was something that would be a lot of fun, our development team was completely focused on the PC version of the game from the very beginning. We only really started working on a console version around the end of 2011 when we brought in additional developers to focus on the project,” said Diablo 3 Lead Software Engineer, Norbert Szabo.
“We’ve taken the time to make sure that the game feels great with the controller and that we’d be delivering a Blizzard-quality experience to the console audience.”
Szabo elaborated on the specific changes to the console versions, explaining that the game was reworked to cater for controllers and a different audience.
“When our console designers came up with new features for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game, we had to take a big picture look at the change and decide whether it would be a good fit for the PC audience, with each addition being decided upon on a case-by-case basis.”
“The right stick dodge move and the new console UI, are specifically designed around usability for a player with a controller in hand.”
When asked if the PC version would ever get gamepad support, Szabo said it’s not impossible, but doesn’t want to give PC gamers too much hope.
“I would never rule it out, but this is not something we are actively working on. The PC version was designed with a mouse and keyboard in mind, in ways that go beyond just the interface.”
“The ‘feel’ of combat in Diablo III is so crucial to the experience that we aren’t willing to compromise it just to tack another feature as a bullet on the back of the box. If players would prefer to enjoy Diablo III with a controller, then we’re confident that they’ll love either console version.”
Regarding the lack of always-online requirements and the real-money auction house on consoles, Szabo explained that it was a necessary sacrifice.
“A high percentage of consoles are not connected to the Internet, which is not the case with gaming PCs, so offline play is a necessity for the console version in order to ensure the game is accessible to a wide audience.”