Posted on May 15, 2012, Ben Richardson Diablo 3 Launch: Error 37 Gains Instant Infamy
Blizzard had to see this coming. After months — nay, years — hyping up the release of Diablo 3, they had to know that hundreds of thousands of gamers would be trying to login at 12:01 PST, 5/15/12. And yet, as I write this, an hour after the game‘s servers were slated to go live, hundreds of thousands of North American gamers are still stranded, Diablo-less. Instead, they are confronted with this error message:
Error 37 is likely to go down in history — in the long history of things that have stood between gamers and their fun — as one of the most frustrating gaming experiences ever. #Error37 is currently trending worldwide on Twitter. Particularly screwed are the people in the Eastern time zone, who hopped themselves up on caffeine in the hopes of getting an hour or two of play-time in until the invevitable crash hit. I’m pretty glad I’m not stuck in the same room with one of those people right about now.
US region players: Error 37 = Please try again in few minutes. 12 = Global Play not yet active so unable to play in other regions. #D3launch
— Blizzard CS EU (@BlizzardCSEU_EN) May 15, 2012
Try again in a few minutes!? That’s some really solid advice right there. Blizzard’s epic fail — in what should be a moment of triumph — is nothing short of astounding. It’s not as if they don’t have pretty solid data on how many people pre-ordered the game, and therefore would be desperate to login when it became available. A company with such extensive experience in online games should be able to do better, even if they have botched other launches, like World of Warcraft and, more recently, the Diablo 3 Open Beta Weekend. I refuse to believe there’s “just no way” to deal with the sudden influx of logins. If Blizzard knew it was going to be a problem, why not figure out some method of staggering the process, so everyone doesn’t try to just login all at once?
The official Blizzard Twitter posted this suggestion about some other errors people are getting, which smells suspiciously of “throw a bunch of things at the wall and see if one of them works.” Do they seriously expect me to believe I could be playing Diablo 3 right now if I just reset my router?
Error 3004, 3006, 3007, or 300008:We’ve found that one of these suggestions can help: bit.ly/Kj0A1X
— BlizzardCS (@BlizzardCS) May 15, 2012
More than anything, the Error 37 Crisis of 2012 (TM) exposes a massive flaw in games that require an always-on internet connection. Why should paying customers have to suffer for a problem on Blizzard’s end? You don’t hear any Max Payne 3 players complaining. This also would never have been an issue in Diablo II — players would be merrily hacking and slashing their way through singleplayer. Instead we’re all sitting here, staring at a burning house and listening to the stirring music of a game we can’t…even…play.