Blizzard apologies for Diablo 3 launch issues, delaying real-money auction house

Everyone and their uncle had predicted that Diablo III's servers would be hammered hard when the click 'em up launched at midnight on Tuesday, but Blizzard wasn't quite prepared enough. The developer's now apologised for the issues that left many unable to play, and has decided to delay the launch of the real-money auction house until everything's just peachy.

"We greatly appreciate everyone's support, and we want to sincerely apologize for the difficulties many of you encountered on day one," Blizzard said in a statement.

As many of you are aware, technical issues occurring within hours after the game's launch led to players experiencing error messages and difficulty logging in. These issues cropped up again last night for the Americas and Europe servers. Despite very aggressive projections, our preparations for the launch of the game did not go far enough.

Of course, there'd have been far less trouble if Diablo III didn't require all players to connect through Battle.net, even if they're playing by themselves.

Blizzard noted that it's "monitoring the game 24/7" and has already rolled out a few optimisations, and declared that everything is now "online and running relatively smoothly." There's still work to do, though, and maintenance is planned to slap on a few more improvements. Blizzard's also investigating the achievement issues, and promises news on that "as soon as possible."

Until these kinks are ironed out, Blizzard's delaying the planned May 22 launch of Diablo III's real-money auction house. There's no word yet on quite when it'll now arrive.

Undeterred, our John has pressed onwards with his Diablo III diaries.