The much-anticipated video game Diablo III was released on Tuesday. But most players haven’t been able to actually play the game yet – and they’re voicing their complaints on Twitter.
This is one PR nightmare that no company wants on their head.
Diablo III was released on May 15th, 12 years after its prequel, Diablo II, which won a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the fasted computer game ever sold (reaching one million copies sold in the first two weeks). But rather than capitalizing on this popularity, publisher Blizzard is embroiled in a PR battle.
Diablo III is playable only online, whether you’re playing single-player or multi-player. And with all of the buzz surrounding its release, it looks like too many people bought the game on release day and tried to play it.
Sounds like a problem any company would want, but Blizzard apparently didn’t plan for it. Most players couldn’t actually log on to Blizzard’s servers to get to their game, and many a meme has been born of the “Error 37” that kept popping up when players tried to log on.
And now Error 37 has gone viral.
Twitter went crazy shortly after the midnight release of Diablo III, with users tweeting thousands of times about the error. Eventually, they turned it into a hashtag (“#Error37”) that reached trending topic status.
Man, Diablo III is super hard.I’ve been playing for 30 minutes and haven’t even defeated the login screen. #error37
— Lisa Brewster (@Adora) May 15, 2012
— Tyler Curtis (@TyLiner) May 15, 2012
— Raw Instinct (@I2awInstinct) May 15, 2012
So now, rather than something like “#ILoveDiabloIII”, Blizzard is dealing with a negative hashtag and sentiment on Twitter and other social media.
Their unpreparedness at the sheer number of users wanting to log on and play the game was the cause of all of this negative buzz, but social media has amplified it.
The users who were so eager to get their hands on the game – the most loyal to Blizzard – are now those who are being so vocal on Twitter. This shows that companies need to continually produce quality goods and services in order to satisfy their customers, or even brand ambassadors might turn against them.