The PC version of Diablo III will never gain an offline mode, not after observing how that affected players in Diablo II, lead designer Kevin Martens told Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
According to Martens, a big drop in player interest in Diablo III came from the absence of interaction and team work, which Diablo 3’s mandatory online nature solves, incentivizing players to partner up.
“The game is most fun when you can play with other people,” Martens told Rock, Paper, Shotgun. “To be ghettoed off to the side and not part of the real game, we didn’t want that to happen. This is an online game. We want people to play together. All of that predates the auction house.
“That was the wrong choice to allow people to play offline, and we still stand by that. And we think Internet access is widespread. If someone has no Internet access, then yeah, Diablo III is not the game for them.”
Martens, when asked why the game couldn’t be altered to be offline, yanked out much in the same way the auction houses will be, maintained that Blizzard set out to make an online-only experience with Diablo III, and that an offline version is not what the team wanted to build as an experience.
“We didn’t make that game. That’s the straight-up answer. We did not make that game, and we’re not going to turn this game into that game. We have the online mode because we learned a lot over the many, many years that Diablo II was still in development.
Diablo III recently made the jump to home consoles, launching on PS3 and Xbox 360 in September. A PS4 version is slated for release in 2014. For more on Diablo III’s console presence, which does feature an offline mode, check out Josh’s review.