Diablo IV’s launch event is stirring up controversy – and it hasn’t even started yet


With Diablo IV’s head start kicking off Thursday evening, the race will be on to see which players are crazy and dedicated enough to blast through the entire game by the weekend. And not helping one bit to encourage players to slow down and thoroughly enjoy the journey is Blizzard, which is hosting a contest to see which players can get to hardcore level 100 first.

This isn’t small potatoes, either: The first 1,000 players to reach that milestone (and can prove it) will have their BattleTag engraved onto a physical Lilith statue. With the community revved up to do this, there were quick accusations that streamers and other players with advance preview codes would have an advantage in this contest. After a bit of a fuss over this, the community convinced Blizzard to change the official rules to exclude those accounts.

And since we are already on the Diablo IV controversy train, let’s head to the next stop and visit some additional allegations against the studio. In this case, it’s claims that a recent developer Q&A video was hand-fed specific softball questions by astroturf accounts. This hasn’t been conclusively proven or confirmed, mind you, nor is it even clear that Blizzard knew about it, but the evidence (specifically, digging into the social media accounts that supposedly provided the questions) does point to something fishy with this particular interview. [Update: The Future Game Show channel, the site that conducted the interview, has since admitted to using randomized names to anonymize real people it says asked the questions, and it claims that it’s a coincidence that some of those randomized users turned out to be… well, real accounts if not real people.]

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