I have spent an unhealthy amount of time recently trying to find out if Diablo 3 is dead. I have either read or been told that Diablo 3 is "no shit dead". Multiple sources from websites, posts, replies, polls, tweets, and streams have been telling me the game is dead for over a year now. As what I consider an active player (filthy casual to some) I would argue against Diablo 3 being dead. However, that could just be my inner and outer fanboy holding me at gunpoint and forcing me to type those words.
Hi, my name is Tim. I host a Diablo 3 podcast and I am a Diablo 3 fanboy.
Just in case the fanboy thing wasn't crystal clear. I emphasize this because there is a very high chance that my opinion is clouded and biased, but I try my hardest to use facts and logic when coming to an informed decision. Let me point out that I used the word try. When it comes to tallying up the number of active players in Diablo 3, facts become difficult to find. Most of the responses I read were deeply rooted in opinions and "feelings". Depending on what side of the argument you were on, you could use almost any statistic to further your opinion. The only fact I could find was that Blizzard has not released any numbers other than that 30 million copies of Diablo 3 (pc and console combined) had been sold. One could probably argue easily enough that 30 million people are not actively playing Diablo 3, but would that justify calling Diablo 3 dead?
So since my sleuthing skills turned out to be easily defeated by Google, I decided to take another approach and define what a dead video game is. Yes, I also Googled that, and yes I was once again defeated. I'm not one to easily give up, and just like everyone and assholes, I too have an opinion (I'm pretty sure I just nailed that metaphor). I came to a conclusion that Diablo 3 is in fact..........not dead (did you really think I would say anything different?) and here's why.
Dead is defined as not alive (thanks dictionary) and alive is defined as not dead (again, thanks dictionary) but also as still in existence, force, or operation as well as still active in competition with a chance of victory. Other than the Troll living under the PoE bridge, I don't think one could debate against Diablo 3 still being in operation. That's one check for alive.
Now for check number two. The community. Diablo 3 has a very strong and lively community and for a game to truly be dead you have to cut off all it's heads...no wait, that's a hydra, but the same can be said for Diablo 3...kind of. The Diablo 3 community is alive and kicking and a strong piece of the puzzle. It's pretty much an edge piece. I have personally seen the amount of love and passion that the community pours into this game and if the game was truly dead, I don't think there would this much commitment.
Another check for alive would have to be the Diablo team. Yes, the team has taken a couple of hits here recently, but there is still a lot of dedicated members that are working on Diablo 3. During Blizzcon 2015 there was a really cool place in the convention center. The Slaughtered Calf Inn. Diablo team members took turns hanging out and talking to fans. I spent a shit ton of time in there chatting with everyone. The Diablo team really loves what they do and love being apart of the game. Seriously, I'm not exaggerating on this. Maybe they were all just really good actors, but every time I sat down with somebody new and asked them what they did, a gleam would enter their eyes, their mouth would turn up in this huge grin and you could feel the excitement and love for the game coming off them. It sounds super sappy I know, but I'm telling you, it was legit. I would expect if the game was dead in Blizzard's eyes, then I wouldn't of seen the fire, passion, and life in the eyes of those who work on the game.
The one last check I have for alive would have to go towards content. Yes, I can say content with a straight face. It's not all 2.4 up in here all day every day, but it is content. Season 5 and Season 6 were almost mirror images of each other, but you have to admit Season 6 had a little more style to it (yes, that was transmog joke) and I will end Season 6 with a few more friends (yep, and now a pet joke). If you have had a chance to read through the PTR patch notes, you will see that the Diablo team has pretty much made it impossible for Season 7 to be a 3-peat. If a game was dead and Blizzard didn't care about Diablo, then why even bother?
I will end this checklist with a check in the dead column. I honestly do not think the amount of active players is the same as it used to be. Even if Blizzard did release a stat sheet with 10 million active players, I would assume it was photoshopped. However, the player base is still more than enough for me to be able to have a full game for whatever it is I am trying to accomplish. So maybe I just lineout that last checkmark (I marked it up in pen) and place a check in alive. I mean after all, I am a fanboy.