Diablo 3's requirement that players maintain a constant internet connection is more than just a form of copy protection, it is "critical for the long-term integrity of the game experience", Blizzard's Mike Morhaime has said.
In a statement posted on the official Diablo 3 forum the Blizzard president and a co-founder addressed the perception that the online requirement is nothing but a form of copy protection and cheat prevention.
"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)," he said. "More important to us is that the online requirement is critical for the long-term integrity of the game experience."
Morhaime sympathised with players that favour a solitary gameplay experience, but said the game was designed to be enjoyed with friends and requirement allowed the developer to maintain the features that support multiplayer.
"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 exec went on to admit there's still room for Diablo 3 to improve and said Blizzard intends to further improve the game.
"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."
The Blizzard CEO has also opened up on the Diablo 3 Error 37.
More Diablo 3: Read CVG's Diablo 3 review.