Will Diablo III release this year? Will Blizzard Entertainment really launch its next extraordinarily anticipated action RPG in the year 2011?
It’s getting a little touch-and-go as far as time is concerned. There are only four months left in the year which is not a lot if you consider the scope of such a game release – a release that would crank into operation a marketing campaign the size of which you’ve never seen before.
If you take a cold, hard business look at the possibility of Diablo III releasing in 2011, it might become apparent that Activision would do well to rely on the sales of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to fill out its third quarter earnings for the reporting period of October to December, and then let Diablo III sales plump up fourth quarter earnings from January to March 2012.
Even better for Activision would be to let Modern Warfare 3’s (expectedly) long tail take care of the final two quarters of the year (from October 2011 to March 2012) following its release in November, and then blast off the company’s next fiscal year with the release of Diablo III, perhaps sometime during or after April 2012.
Will the company use either of these strategies, or simply give gamers what they want, when they want it?
Regardless of when the full game is released, Blizzard community manager Bashiok recently posted on the official Diablo III forums to say that the closed public beta test for the game is “getting very close,” which means news of a release date draws ever closer, too.
Here’s the full post:
“FYI, we’re getting very close to starting the closed public beta test for Diablo III. You might start seeing some new reports about the beta client as we’ve begun limited external testing with employees and their families, and there is no non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for that. We look forward to sharing more info about the beta test in the near future. Stay tuned.
“If you have a beta license, you are free to show, share, or talk about any portion of the beta content to which you have access, as this beta test is not confidential.”
Blizzard’s notorious attention to that magical ‘polish’ for its games has banished Diablo III into an incredibly lengthy development period, and I personally ‘fear’ that any new data received during the beta test has the possibility of pushing the release date further back as the studio incorporates this new information into the game, requiring even more development time.
Are you looking forward to the Diablo III beta? Do you think the game will release in 2011, or 2012? In a world of mystery, these are at least questions that you can answer, in the comments below.
Source: Official Diablo III Forum