In South Korea, like elsewhere, Diablo III is out. And boy, are people ever playing it.
Korean paper The Hankyoreh recently did a report on how Diablo III is impacting Korean nightlife. While much of the information is anecdotal, it does provide a good window in.
For example, one businessman told the paper that instead of playing golf, he plays Diablo III. He's certainly not alone in his leisure activity of choice.
Another one of the Diablo III players interviewed, an insurance salesman, doesn't have the game yet. However, since Diablo III's launch, he has been spending around six hours each weekday at his local PC bang (net cafe). On weekends, he's there for ten hours at a time and sleeping around four to five hours a day. "I want to try the game out at a PC bang first and then buy it," he said. "I'm going to buy it soon."
Among hardcore gamers, this insurance salesman doesn't seem to be the exception. According to the PC bang owner, one guy in his late 30s played 16 hours straight one day—from Friday evening to Saturday. The guy then went home, took a nap, and came back to play some more.
More people spending time in PC bang, playing Diablo III means fewer people doing other things. One bar owner told The Hankyoreh that business is down. He's heard that it's because of Diablo III, which doesn't seem to bother him too much. He's a fan. After closing the bar at 2am, he heads over to a PC bang and plays until 8am. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. And then beat 'em.
Jongsu Chang contributed to this report.
디아3에 미치는 이유? "룸살롱말곤 놀이문화 없잖아" [The Hankyoreh]