Diablo 4's devs feel optimistic about their game's servers after the recent playtests.
Blizzard held its massive Server Slam open beta earlier this month, deliberately designed to let players stress test Blizzard's servers before launch. According to Diablo 4 general manager Rod Fergusson, the stress testing before launch has really paid off for Blizzard behind the scenes.
"We learned a lot from each of them," Fergusson says of the several playtests to GamesRadar+ in a new interview. "We're feeling better, like we feel good about that, like all the stuff that we've learned," the general manager adds, caveating his optimism in the fact that devs are basically "never" able to fully replicate players trying to connect to a game via a playtest.
Fergusson drew an analogy to an amusement park, saying that if a million people showed up at once to get in, you wouldn't be able to fit them all in your amusement park, no matter how big it is. Yes, kicking off a live-service game really is like opening an amusement park.
Eventually, though, you'll get to the point where you can realistically let one million people into your amusement park, Fergusson says. "We've done the work we could do to make launch day as smooth as possible. And we feel good about where we are," the Blizzard senior developer continues.
Fergusson also outlines that Blizzard flips one giant switch, and its game goes live on all platforms, whereas in his days at Xbox, they'd launch a game at midnight in each time zone around the world.
"We've done the work, and we've done a lot of testing, and so we're prepared," Fergusson says. "But you know, never say never. It might be a little bumpy on the first day, but our hopes are that, like we did on those weekends, we learn and adapt."
It certainly sounds like Blizzard's developers will be preparing for the worst-case scenario with their servers come launch, even after successful playtests that saw millions of people get access to Diablo 4 pretty smoothly. Launching a game worldwide simultaneously must be a lot of work for live-service developers in the weeks and even months after.
Check out our Diablo 4 Battle Pass guide for a comprehensive overview of how the system will work in Blizzard's new game come launch.