Those of you who were hoping to play Diablo 3 this year will have to keep yourself busy with something else, as it looks like Blizzard won’t be making the magic happen till 2012. Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime wrote a bit about it on the Blizzard blog, saying “While this news might not be a complete surprise, I know that many of you were hopeful that Diablo III would ship this year. We were too.” Though not officially announced for 2011, Blizzard did say they were aiming for a release late in the year (no doubt to take advantage of the Christmas buying season).
Diablo 3’s beta period, which is now underway, will be extended in order to better shore up loose ends and make sure that the game which goes to shelves is a winner. “Ultimately, we feel that to deliver an awesome Diablo sequel that lives up to our expectations and yours as well,” Morhaime said, “we should take a little more time and add further polish to a few different elements of the game.” To aid the extended endeavor, Diablo 3’s beta will run longer and accomodate more invitees.
Diablo 3 is the third instalment of Blizzard’s ridiculously successful Diablo series, the most recent of which was Diablo 2 (released in 2000). Like Starcraft and Warcraft, their two other properties, Diablo has an insanely popular following and even ten years later the buzz for a Diablo sequel is crazy good. There will, of course, be great weeping and gnashing of teeth, not to mention a slew of “Diablo 3 misses deadline” posts on many blogs… but Blizzard never announced an official release date or made any promises to ship this year (they only expressed a hope to). If the game arrives later than hoped, it’s because Blizzard is trying to figure out how to get five gallons of whoopass into a ten ounce can. So relax.