Diablo III: Long-awaited video game sequel launched

Screen shot from Diablo III
Image caption The game has been 12 years in the making

Long-awaited video game Diablo III has launched, causing servers to struggle under huge volumes of traffic.

Blizzard Entertainment said it would launch more servers to cope with the traffic levels.

Around 1,500 fans gathered at a shopping centre close to the developer's Californian headquarters to witness the midnight launch.

They have had a long wait as the previous game was released 12 years ago.

The mood was celebratory as fans gathered to see Blizzard artists sketch characters, watch new footage and take part in quizzes.

Five classes

Attendee Ian Noble summed up the mood of the fans.

"There's nowhere I'd rather be tonight," he said.

The PC and Mac-only game has developed a cult following among gamers.

The third chapter of the fantasy action role-playing game sees player choose from five classes of character - barbarian, demon hunter, monk, witch doctor or wizard.

Analysts expected the game to sell more than 4 million copies. Diablo II sold that amount in the year after it was released.

Goofing about

Lead designer Jay Wilson said he hoped fans would be excited by the new version.

Joking about the long delay between games he told fans: "We were just goofing off mostly."

Mr Wilson added, more seriously: "It takes a long time to make a Blizzard game.

"We're very focused on quality. If we think something is not good enough, we make it better. We redo things, which is really uncommon in game development. If we build a level and don't like it, we'll throw it out," he added.

Gamers have already uncovered a bug in the game which can disconnect demon hunters from the game's servers.

Blizzard said that it was working on a fix.

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