Blizzard has apologised for the server problems that have made Diablo 3, which requires an active internet connection to work, difficult to play for hundreds of thousands of gamers.
Diablo 3 launched at 11pm on Monday night and quickly buckled under the pressure of eager fans trying to play. For a time, Error 37, which indicates Blizzard's servers are at full capacity, was trending on Twitter.
The issues subsided but reappeared last night. Now, Blizzard has issued a statement apologising to fans and admitting it didn't do enough to prepare for the launch despite running a popular open beta and receiving over two million pre-orders.
"Despite very aggressive projections, our preparations for the launch of the game did not go far enough," Blizzard said.
Recent optimisations have, as of early this morning, made significant improvements, Blizzard said. But the US company warned maintenance will need to be done in the future.
As a result of this, Blizzard has delayed the launch of Diablo 3's real money auction house from its targeted 22nd May release date to an undisclosed point after that. It also reiterated yesterday's message that it was investigating the curious case of vanishing achievements.
"We greatly appreciate everyone's support, and we want to sincerely apologize for the difficulties many of you encountered on day one.
"Thank you again for your patience while we reinforce the gates of Sanctuary and further strengthen it for your onslaught."
Blizzard's statement in full:
"We'd like to extend a very sincere thank you to everyone who joined the global Diablo III launch celebrations this week, as well as to everyone who was ready to jump into Sanctuary the moment the game went live. To that end, we'd also like to say that we've been humbled by your enthusiasm - and we sincerely regret that your crusade to bring down the Lord of Terror was thwarted not by mobs of demons, but by mortal infrastructure. As many of you are aware, technical issues occurring within hours after the game's launch led to players experiencing error messages and difficulty logging in. These issues cropped up again last night for the Americas and Europe servers. Despite very aggressive projections, our preparations for the launch of the game did not go far enough.
"We've been monitoring the game 24/7 and have applied several optimizations to help our systems better weather the global rush. As of late last night, specifically 11:50 PM PDT on May 15, all systems have been online and running relatively smoothly. We're continuing to monitor performance globally and will be taking further measures as needed to ensure a positive experience for everyone. This includes some maintenance to implement additional improvements for each region.
"In order to make sure everything is continuing to run as it should, we've decided to move out our target launch for the real-money auction house beyond our original estimated date of May 22. We'll post further updates on that in the near future.
"Aside from the tremendous number of players simultaneously logging in to the game, one of the launch-day service issues was linked to the achievement system. Some players began to notice early on that achievements were either not being earned properly, or not being saved between multiple logins. We're investigating this issue and will provide a specific update as soon as possible.
"We greatly appreciate everyone's support, and we want to sincerely apologize for the difficulties many of you encountered on day one. Please visit the Battle.net Support site or Support forums for the latest service-related updates or for help in troubleshooting any technical issues you may be having downloading, installing, or while playing the game.
"Thank you again for your patience while we reinforce the gates of Sanctuary and further strengthen it for your onslaught.