Blizzard has defended the need for Diablo 3 to feature an always-on Internet connection.
President and co-founder Mike Morhaime said in a statement that the constant Internet connection is more than copy protection; it's "critical for the long-term integrity of the game experience."
"While we've never said that this requirement guarantees that there will be no cheating or game cracks, it does help us battle those problems (we have not found any fully functional cracks). More important to us is that the online requirement is critical for the long-term integrity of the game experience."
Morhaime did, however, acknowledge Diablo 3 players who want to experience an offline playthrough. But at the same time he stated the action RPG was designed to be an online game that can be played with others.
"I fully understand the desire to play Diablo III offline; however, Diablo III was designed from the beginning to be an online game that can be enjoyed with friends, and the always-online requirement is the best way for us to support that design.
"The effectiveness of the online elements -- including the friends list and cross-game communication; co-op matchmaking; persistent characters that you can use by yourself, with others, and in PvP; and some of our customer support, service, and security components -- is tied directly to the online nature of the game. These and other online-enabled features are essential to our design for Diablo III."
The developer's co-founder added that there's still space for improvements to be made in Diablo 3.
"That said, there are still improvements we believe we can make to expand the online experience and make co-op play even more rewarding, and this will remain one of our priorities moving forward. Overall, while there are some downsides to the online-only approach, I still believe this was the best long-term decision for the game."