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News Blips: Blizzard stumped over Diablo 3 backlash, Steam doesn’t get Battlefield 3, Vita delayed to 2012, and more

Blizzard's reasoning behind storing all Diablo 3 character data on its servers is for added stability. Either that, or it wants an easy way to swap that helm you just bought with pink bunny ears when you log off.

News Blips:

Perplexity pervades Blizzard as it mulls over sour fan reaction to Diablo 3's always-on Internet connection requirement. "I'm actually kind of surprised in terms of there even being a question in today's age around online play and the requirement around that," Blizzard VP of Online Technology Robert Bridenbecker told MTV Games. "We've been doing online gameplay for 15 years now… and with World of WarCraft, our roots in Battle.net, and now with Diablo 3, it really is just the nature of how things are going, the nature of the industry. When you look at everything you get by having that persistent connection on the servers, you cannot ignore the power and the draw of that." Bridenbecker also said a lot of stuff about how combating piracy doesn't factor one bit in the requirement, but that doesn't matter as most people look like the friendly fellow on the right after hearing about this.

EA really wants to let us know that Battlefield 3 won't show up on Steam. The publisher coughed up a sizable digital retail partner list on the game's official website — and Steam's name evidently evaporated off the page. Battlefield 3 is slated for an October 25 release on the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. I suppose this is EA's more subtle approach to exhibiting its displeasure with Valve versus printing "nyah, nyah" in large, white letters across the North American section.

We won't get our PlayStation Vita-mins until next year. Sony Executive VP Kaz Hirai revealed to the AP that the handheld won't reach North American shores in time for stocking stuffage this holiday season. Instead, it's releasing in early 2012 to align with both a better launch title lineup and a previously unknown Mayan prophecy dealing with "talking glow-bricks." 

World of WarCraft lost around 300,000 Azerothians within the first quarter of the year. Blizzard posted the numbers during a conference call that Gamasutra attended, marking the second consecutive quarter in which a batch of subscribers presumably realized how ridiculous Night Elf ears looked and quit. Blizzard President Mike Morhaime considered the slight bleeding from the MMORPG juggernaut's 11.1 million players a regular occurrence driven by lulls between major content updates. This should definitely clear up my morning gryphon commute to Stormwind's Starbucks.


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