Mar 15, 2012 Release Date
It’s been a long time coming, but we finally have an official release date for Diablo 3. The game will launch on the PC on May 15th of this year. That’s just a short two months away, though it will likely feel like an eternity.
If you’re one of the many still holding out hope for a diablo 3 beta key don’t give up yet, as there are still more being sent out. However, it’s nice to know that even if you don’t get your hands on one that the absolute longest you’ll have to wait is two months.
The final tally on the release date puts it at 11 years and 11 months after the release of Diablo 2. Who had that in the pool?
This release date only applies to the PC version of the game. A console version may be coming in the future but it’s still a ways off. We’ll have some more details on that coming soon.
The Diablo 3 beta has officially begun, and Blizzard has sent out the first wave of beta keys to some lucky participants. If you opted in to Blizzard’s beta testing program (which is required to qualify for a key) then you can go check your inbox for a key.
If digging through your inbox doesn’t sound like fun, an even safer way to check for your invite is to log into your battle.net account and see if the Diablo 3 Beta shows up under your list of games.
A word of caution. Blizzard has not yet sent out any promotional beta codes so any site or email claiming to be giving away codes is a fake. In general, any site that requires you to complete an action like a survey is just a scam, and right now that extends to any site claiming to be giving away codes at all. The only way you can get into the beta right now is for Blizzard to activate the game in your battle.net account.
If you didn’t get an invite, don’t jump off a virtual cliff just yet as the invites to the beta have only just begun. Blizzard will soon be giving away promotional keys to sites like this one to use in contests, and there will be additional people added to the beta by Blizzard over time. Beta invites have only just begun.
There is still no release date for Diablo 3, and because of this Blizzard recently released a statement that their calendar outlook did not include any additional releases through the end of 2011. This set journalists abuzz to find out if Diablo 3 would in fact not be released by the end of the year. Blizzard President Mike Morhaime was quick to respond to this and ensure everyone that Blizzard is still trying their best to get the game out this year. However, readers of this site will find his next words as more exciting, as he continued that gamers would get to play Diablo 3 in some form this year as “Diablo 3 is still on track to go into external testing later this quarter”.
“This quarter” ends on September 30th, meaning that the Diablo 3 beta should be in all your download queues prior to then.
Further, Morhaime wants to assure everyone that the beta isn’t just being used as a publicity demo like some other games have done, and that player feedback will be heavily taken into account during the beta. He adds that there are so many moving parts to Diablo 3 that there’s just no way to test it all internally, and as a result the public beta will be crucial. He even gave some hints that part of the reason that no firm release date has been set for the game is that they’re waiting to see what player reaction is to the beta. They don’t want to commit to a release date and then realize after the beta that there isn’t going to be enough time to fix all those things.
We don’t see the harm in a date though, we’re all used to Blizzard delays anyway.
The latest discovery is a Diablo 3 beta icon on battle.net. This icon can be applied to user’s profiles after they take part in the beta test. It hasn’t been applied to anyone yet (IE no closed beta testers have it), which means that it must be reserved for open beta testers to be.
As we previously reported, Blizzard has scheduled a press conference for early August to talk about Diablo 3. The last time Blizzard held a similar event, it was about WoW Cataclysm and it contained an announcement that an open beta would be launching almost immediately. We would not be at all surprised to see a similar announcement about the Diablo 3 Beta during the August press conference, and we would be shocked if we haven’t all had a taste of Diablo 3 via an open beta prior to September 30th of this year.
But the beta isn’t the only thing that may be coming soon. The other big question up in the air is when will the full game be released. Via some leaked schedules at Blizzard, we’ve discovered that the Diablo 3 full game release is still tentatively scheduled for the 4th quarter of this year. Blizzard chief executive Mike Morhaime confirmed that the 4th quarter date was still their target, but also made it very clear that the game would not be released before it was ready. Given Blizzard’s history, we fully expect a delay into next year. Luckily, the beta should be here to help you pass the time. Still no word on how the beta keys will be dispersed.
If you’re like us and can’t help but track news about the Diablo 3 beta like it’s the most important thing in the world then you’ll want to make sure you’re glued to your computer on August 1st.
You see, towards the end of July Blizzard is hosting a private Diablo 3 Beta conference where they are expected to reveal a motherload of info about the beta. This will likely include a release date as well as details about PvP, how long the beta will last, what exactly will be available in the beta, and much more (hopefully some Diablo 3 beta keys along with it!).
However, along with this information comes a media embargo that will prevent anyone from releasing these details to the public until August. Since we’re not going to leave you hanging any longer than we have to, August 1st is the date we are targeting.
You may recall that Blizzard initially said that the beta would take place some time in Q3 of 2011. That time span begins next week so we technically could have been playing the beta as early as then, but clearly that’s not the case. We’ll all have to wait until at least August to get our hands on it, and the only thing we can be assured we’ll get in August is some more information which will almost certainly include a release date. Of course, Blizzard is notorious for their delays so there’s no telling if they’ll make the targeted Q3 2011 date that they predicted several months ago, but at this point things are looking good in that respect, even if it’s twoards the end of Q3.
In the meantime, keep checking back from more info as it becomes available, as smaller details will likely slip out. Either way though, whatever you do, make sure you’re here on August 1st to feast your eyes on the barrage of new beta news.
Diablo 3 Beta
Announced on June 28, 2008 at Blizzard’s Worldwide Invitational in Paris, Diablo 3 is still yet to receive a proper release date. Regardless of when the full game is to be released, the public beta has been announced to be taking place in the 3rd quarter of this year.
Nearly 12 years after the release of the previous Diablo game, Diablo II, this release somewhat mirrors the long wait for StarCraft 2, which also took more than a decade to produce. As Blizzard is well known for its critically-acclaimed games and patiently loyal fanbase, hopes are high for this third entry into the franchise.
A Short History of Diablo
The original Diablo game had been in development in the early 90′s by a company called Condor Games. This company was bought out by Blizzard in 1996, and was renamed to Blizzard North.
Diablo came out that very same year and met almost universal critical acclaim for its addictive gameplay, unparalleled variety in items, levels, abilities and quests as well as the dark atmosphere, superior graphics and musical score.
Set in the world of Sanctuary, an eternal conflict between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells rages on as a lone hero travels into the depths of hell to eventually battle Diablo himself.
It was also ahead of its time in terms of multiplayer, but was known to be easily hacked by players looking to gain an unfair advantage. An expansion pack developed by a third-party developer named Synergistic Software named Diablo: Hellfire was released in 1997. This expansion added an additional three character classes, as well as secondary explorable dungeons. A Playstation port of the original Diablo came out the year after that.
Diablo II came out in June 29, 2000 and was also extremely popular with fans and critics alike. It won the 2000 Guiness Book of World Records award for being the fastest selling computer game ever sold, with more than 1 million units sold in the first two weeks of availability.
Diablo II continues where the first game leaves off, as the unnamed warrior who had vanquished Diablo becomes possessed by the demon himself. As the new threat arises, the new player must combat the new threat through a variety of new classes with many different abilities.
An expansion for the sequel was also released, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction it added two new classes, an additional fifth act, as well as many new items, weapons, and armor.
The collected edition of the first and second Diablo games and their expansion were compiled into Diablo: Battle Chest and continue to be sold in retail stores, appearing on the NPD Group’s top 10 PC games sales list as recently as last year.
Betas: Public and Private
Considered a form of external or consumer-level user acceptance testing, beta testing comes after alpha testing, and are released to a limited audience outside of the programming team. The software is released to specific groups of people as development is in progress but contains the functionality of a complete version to ensure the product has few faults or bugs.
Beta versions are made available either to a selected group of individuals as a closed beta or as an open beta, which is open to the public to increase the feedback field to a maximal number of future users.
Regardless of being an open or closed beta, the primary goal of any beta test is the reporting any bugs that they find, and sometimes suggest additional features that testers feelshould be made available in the final version or full game.
A semi-open beta is where potential users are chosen publicly, but usually at a limited number and at random. Back in 2000, Blizzard announced the open beta for Diablo II just before the game was released only two months later. Starcraft II went into open beta for about 3-5 months before being released in July 27, 2010.
How to Obtain a Key for the Diablo III Semi-Open Beta
Activision-Blizzard stated on May 9, 2011 that internal testing for Diablo III had already been underway for a week, and that the beta shall commence in the third quarter of that year.
Obtaining a Diablo 3 Beta Key starts with enrolling onto Blizzard’s Battle.net account, which is used to play other Blizzard games such as Starcraft 2 or World of Warcraft on official Blizzard servers. You must log in and find the Account Summary page, and to the right of that will be the Beta Profile settings. Simply add Diablo 3 to the list and update the preferences.
It should automatically update the profile with your PC system specifications, as beta testing to a public capacity is also used to gauge the performance of the game on different kinds of systems. When this happens, you now have to wait and hope that you are one of the lucky few to be chosen for the beta testing phase.
Beta related scams should be watched out for as the closed beta date comes closer. Opening an email that says that you have been chosen for the closed beta should be verified by simply logging onto your battle.net account and seeing if you have been selected for the closed beta or not.
Regardless if you have been chosen or not, there may still be hope: Open beta tests ran after the closed betas on most of the early Blizzard games such as Diablo II. Starcraft 2 did not have an open beta phase but due to the large following the game had, the closed beta participants were extremely great in numbers.
May 12, 2011 Release Date
Diablo 3 has gone a long while since it’s announcement with no sign of a release date. People have literally had no clue when it would release. For a while there were rumors that it would drop in 2010, prior even to Starcraft 2. Here we are though, almost half way through 2011, still without so much as a release date, much less the full game. Back in 2009 when people were speculating a 2010 release, I don’t think any expected to still be this far out when mid-2011 hit.
But there appears to finally be some light at the end of the tunnel. With internal beta testing underway and external beta testing likely to hit in the summer of this year, given Blizzard’s typical release schedule (usually about 6 months after the beta) it is likely that we’ll see Diablo 3 launch within the first half of 2012.
I know that the wait has been difficult, and it will likely only get even harder as we see more and more awesome footage and hear more and more awesome news about the game, but it’s nice to know that the day when we’ll finally be holding the full version of Diablo 3 in our hands is approaching, and we’re getting closer.
Besides, we’ve always got the Diablo 3 beta to hold us over in the meantime, right?