Gaming Illustrated was on hand for the event which started at 8pm PST. The event was located near the giant wheel with a big setup that included a stage with a projection screen and plenty of other activities going on. At the local GameStop location inside the Spectrum, gamers could pre-order their game and come back after midnight to pick up their copy and start playing as soon as they got home. The event was co-sponsored by both Blizzard Entertainment and GameStop to promote the launch of Diablo III. Everyone in attendance was promised to see Diablo-related cut-scenes and other video clips and also take part in several contests with exclusive D3-themed prizes. Some of the prizes included laser-etched desktop PCs, courtesy from Intel.
Plenty of Blizzard staff members were in attendance and walking around, mingling with those attending the event. This is standard practice with Blizzard launch events, most recently seen with StarCraft II where many staff members walked around and talked to gamers about the hard work that went into what was eventually an Editor’s Choice winner. After D3 went on sale at midnight, many key members of the Diablo III development team stayed on site at the official event area to talk to players and provide autographs.
Diablo III is the much anticipated sequel to Diablo 2 and is exclusively available for PC and for Mac OS X computer systems. The game features a gripping storyline where the very forces of Hell itself are unleashed once again in the land known as Sanctuary. It will be up to the heroes playing the game to thwart the forces of evil and ultimately Diablo himself, once again.
While on hand at the event we got to meet plenty of folks in the crowd – some were huge gamers, some just huge fans of the Diablo series and plenty of them were folks from Blizzard there to celebrate many years of hard work. Overall, there had to have been thousands on hand at the Irvine Spectrum, all of whom were treated to a great time. Blizzard always does a great job blowing these event parties out and the Diablo 3 Release Party was no different. From cut-scenes of many of the acts in the game to videos dedicated to each one of the playable classes, there was plenty to see on the big screen. On top of that, many of the project’s leads took the stage to say a few words to the crowd to thank them, including a touching speech by VP Rob Pardo. Also taking place were costume contests with people showing up as their favorite characters from the Diablo series. Associate Editor Carl Armstrong interviewed many of the contestants for our video recap of the release party. Most just showed up to have a good time and meet fellow gamers that love the series as much as they did. Other “events” taking place at the release party included many fan giveaways in the form of t-shirts (being shot out of a t-shirt gun at the crowd) as well as a beard shaving contest.
Overall, it was another enjoyable release party put on by the folks at Blizzard Entertainment. Clearly a lot of hours went into the preparation, set-up and tear down of the event and on behalf of the press in attendance (as well as on behalf of fans of the series), we’d like to thank the on-site staff for their hard work.
Below are photographs we took at the event!