Diablo 3 Pushed To Early 2012

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅23.09.2011 14:21:42

Activision-Blizzard announced the start of the Closed (not just Friends and Family) Beta on Tuesday, and the scale of demand and overall coverage has been staggering. However all is not rosy in Irvine: Blizzard have just admitted on the Diablo 3 development blog that the game will not be in a suitable state to be launched this year, and will instead be pushed to early 2012. In a post titled '"Soon" Was Too Soon', Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime stated that unit managers weren't confident a December release was realistic given the amount of polish needed for the to be up to Blizzard's high standard. That's a pretty shocking announcement, and the Diablo community is stunned - not by the later than expected release date but rather the announcement of a release slippage. Blizzard have historically always been closed mouthed about releases, "soon" and "It'll be release when it's done" have been common refrains from the company.

It's also true to say that competition this year is extremely strong; where in previous years they may have been comfortable with a weaker release product and aggressive patching schedule resting on their laurels really isn't an option this time around. The plethora of competing titles due Q4 2011 include Star Wars: The Old Republic, Batman: AC, MW3, Skyrim and Assassins Creed 3, which would all be pretty strong competition in a weakening economic climate. The up-side is that there will likely be more people invited to the Beta over this extended Beta period. So, perhaps a 1 in 100 chance rather than a 1 in 300.

We commonly use the term “soon” when referring to Blizzard releases, because we know that no matter how hard we’re working to reach a target, we’re not going to compromise and launch a game before it’s ready. For Diablo III, we were aiming to launch by the end of 2011. As we’re announcing globally today, our new target for the game is early 2012.

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. However, this week we pulled together people from all of the teams involved with the game to decide whether we felt it would be ready before the end of December, and we grudgingly came to the conclusion that it would not. Ultimately, we feel that to deliver an awesome Diablo sequel that lives up to our expectations and yours as well, we should take a little more time and add further polish to a few different elements of the game.

The upside of today’s announcement is that we will be running the beta test longer than we initially planned, which will allow us to invite more of you who have opted in.

For those taking on the Diableard challenge, we salute you—and now fear for your well-being and personal hygiene. We hereby issue an official reprieve to all Diableard participants, including Blizzard employees, if you want to trim or otherwise manage the lower half of your face. We’d still love to see your beardly achievements, and we look forward to seeing more of your efforts as we move into 2012, but not to the detriment of your workplaces and significant others.
Thank you everyone for your support and anticipation for Diablo III. We’re still moving ahead at full pace, and we’ll be keeping you fully informed of any news and developments here at Diablo3.com, including the specific release date when the time comes, so stay tuned.

-Mike Morhaime

Source: Battle.net

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