Blizzard Announces New Diablo 3 Slipping Date

By Richard Cobbett on February 10th, 2012 at 1:49 pm.

Looking forward to hacking your way through the armies of Hell? Blizzivision (a subsidiary of Activard) has finally announced Diablo 3′s final, definitely final, absolutely no-kidding final release date… ish. It’s due to land in Q2 this year, unless they decide to rewrite the entire thing and turn it into one of those point and click adventures that are currently taking the world by storm.

Spaketh Blizzard’s very own Mike Morhaime on a recent investors call…

Given the popularity of the action RPG genre, and the keen interest in Diablo III, we expect this launch to be a big opportunity for Blizzard. We can also confirm that we are targeting a Q2 launch for Diablo III. We expect to announce more details about the release schedule in the coming weeks.

There. See? It’s just around the corner. Nothing can possibly go wrong now!

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72 Comments »

  1. Kdansky says:

    Too soon, Executus, too soon!

  2. zergrush says:

    They’re doing a pretty good job at adjusting the game according to the beta feedback. More devs should do that.

    • Gnoupi says:

      More devs would do that if they had the kind of money they have.
      Same argument for “Blizzard are taking their time to release a fine-tuned bug-free game”.

      It’s the ideal case when you actually can take 6 months to make such a wide beta-test and gather the players’ feedback this way.

    • UncleLou says:

      Also a question of cause and effect, no? It’s not like Blizzard only started doing this after World of Warcraft was such a success. Their reputation is built on polish, to a significant degree.

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      jezcentral says:

      Have they made any changes to the “can’t pause my single-player game”?

      That’s a deal-breaker for me. Parenthood doesn’t agree with it.

    • Fierce says:

      Can’t you just hit Esc?

      Doesn’t that take you to a menu or something, or do the Mobs still attack you in the background?

    • Nim says:

      Apparently they do.

    • zergrush says:

      You have an infinite town portal tho, so you can just use it and instantly get to a safe place.

      But if you have to pause in the middle of a boss fight you’re probably screwed. Which is not exactly a bad thing, Demon’s Souls also has no pause and it actually adds to the gameplay / atmosphere.

    • Maktaka says:

      @UncleLou Blizzard only took their time with Starcraft onward, well after they’d gotten enough success with Warcraft II and Diablo to be able to do so, and was not applied to expansion packs until WoW. Compare the time taken on HotS or Diablo III with the speed that Brood War and (to a lesser extent) Lord of Destruction and Frozen Throne went out the door.

    • trjp says:

      How much of a fanboy do you have to be to suggest that taking pause out of a game ‘adds to the gameplay/atmosphere’.

      Making you stand in a mixture of mud/shit/piss and blood with straps digging into your flesh, muscles aching from a long walk and the smell of death wafting around your nose would DEFINATELY add more gameplay/atmosphere – but you’d not actually make it mandatory for players to do it, would you?

      “No going to the toilet now – piss your pants and hold the line”

      As for portals and bosses – in D2 you could portal out of most encounters – in fact the entire gameplay model often involved hacking through enemies whilst spamming potion buttons and then portalling out to restock before repeating.

    • zergrush says:

      Yep, Demon’s Souls is one of my favourite games of all time, I’ve played it for a few hundred hours and I do commend games that do things in a similar way to it. Thanks for being so reasonable and understanding about my position.

      You smart, lovely young man.

      edit: Bah, why did you edit the “Idiot” out of your post? :(

      Anyway, don’t portals have an interruptable casting time now to prevent this kind of thing? And I’ve done plenty of raiding in WoW, we simply stopped before any lengthy room for people to pee / drink water / restock their cheetos or whatever. You’re likely to have plenty of calm periods and clean rooms during gameplay, why don’t you pee on those?

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      Smashbox says:

      At Blizzard, beta means beta, not demo. Respectable indeed.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Because the unexpected comes up. Not everyone has the free time or stability to do WoW raids, in fact there’s a major drop-off at the end of each expansion when people finish with the single-player content.

    • zergrush says:

      I’ve been mainly a multiplayer guy for quite a few years and plan on playing Diablo 3 pretty much exclusively with a group of buddies, so yeah, this issue doesn’t bother me as much as it could, but even then it’s not like you’re losing much by tping or even dying. If you plan on playing hardcore it’s obviously a much bigger issue, but that’s supposed to be hardcore, isn’t it? >.<'

      I don’t know enough about the game’s inner workings to know if it would be easy / viable to implement, but still, is it really that much of a deal breaker?

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      FriendlyFire says:

      Long-winded content with no pause option is what precludes me from playing MMOs. Well, that and costs, but that’s another story.

      I cannot guarantee long stretches of uninterrupted gameplay. I don’t want to have to restart all over again because I can’t finish that four hour long thingamajing, so I just don’t play them at all.

      I really, REALLY don’t want this trend to get into the way of singleplayer games.

    • Dogsbody says:

      Regarding the lack of ‘pause’ – I’m in the Beta, the town portal casts really fast, it’s not tough to get it off even around mobs. Not to say that it’s not a crock there’s no pause in SP, but it really doesn’t turn out to be much of an issue.

    • trjp says:

      People who think pause isn’t something EVERY game needs are obviously sad loners with no friends, no kids, no family – people who do nothing but play games basically?

      When I’m playing a game a number of things can happen

      1 – someone can call at my house (I can’t leave them outside until I find a savespot really)
      2 – they can also ring me (I could ring them back but it’s a BIT rude)
      3 – my other half could ask me to drive her somewhere/pick her up from somewhere
      4 – I could realise it’s time to start cooking a meal or head out or whatever

      and that’s without having kids – at which point your ability to focus on a single thing for more than 10 mins becomes totally impossible. When you have kids, try ignoring them for the 10 mins it takes to find a suitable savepoint :)

  3. empyrion says:

    I may have just lost a little bet where I said I didn’t think this would be released this year (and definitely not before Heart of the Swarm). Also, Torchlight 2 gets screwed over completely. :(

    • Gnoupi says:

      Yes, I love Torchlight, and I understand they want to make a smooth experience, refined, etc… But let’s be honest, it’s in their best interest to release in the 6-3 months before Diablo 3 releases. If they release after, it’s most likely over. Most of their core target will be spending all their time playing D3, and won’t even notice it.

    • Nim says:

      Upon reading Runic games fansite it seems that the game is about to enter the closed beta stage, with some distance still to go. Runic seem quite serious about the quality seeing as they have the capital to keep working at it but I fear what will happen to the company now that their supposed release date too has slipped to Q2 of this year which would put it at only a month or two before Diablo3.

    • Ridnarhtim says:

      Does Torchlight 2 let me play offline, and pause my single player game? Yes? Then Diablo III could come out today, and I still would buy Torchlight instead.

    • Icarus says:

      What Ridnarhtim said, yes.

    • trjp says:

      It’s tricky – Torchlight2 around Skyrim time would have been commercial suicide.

      Then KOA came along which would also be a distraction – so far so good tho, there’s still time.

      Getting out before D3 is pretty much mandatory tho – once D3 is out it will draw-in every action-RPG player there is (naysayers and all as they forget silly things like pause and online connections and real money shops) leaving about 20 people playing anything else.

      Unless they’ve radically changed what Torchlight is – I mean I’m hoping for the original but with a bit more variety and depth, but that would be a direct D3 competitor and it WOULD lose.

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      Keymonk says:

      Here’s a wild idea; some people will buy both! There’s not mutual exclusion here.

    • zergrush says:

      I plan on getting both and Path of Exile, Grim Dawn and whatever the Soldak guys put out next.

      I’ll happily click the shit out of any and all monsters I can find.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Yeah, judging by the difference in quality between Torchlight and Diablo II, it can’t compete head on. It’s fun and pretty, but the loot system just doesn’t have the same pull and the abilities don’t work quite as well together. It’s just doesn’t capture the same kind of Skinner box feel.

    • UncleLou says:

      Completely agree, I don’t understand why some people need to play off Torchlight 2 against Diablo 3 every time the latter is mentioned. I don’t think it’s doing Runic any favours, either.

      I’ll get both as well, and on release day – though I’ve given up hope that T2 might tide me over till D3 is released some time ago. Torchlight 2 has more or less gone dark more than a year ago, after an initially planned release date of early 2011, iirc.

    • trjp says:

      People might buy both – but the ‘success’ of a game is really counted by initial sales (preorders plus first 1-2 weeks)

      If TL2 arrives around the same time as D3, people will probably think “I’ll just hang-fire on TL2 – after all, it will be half-price or less in the next Steam Sale” and thus that’s their initial sales upended.

      It’s not about total sales whenever – sadly – it’s about that initial rush and releasing head-to-head with the game which is the daddy of your genre is – well – foolish…

    • casedeck says:

      Maybe releasing head-to-head is not so foolish… Here’s some thoughts.

      You can add to this the (recently more and more prominent) illumination of long-tail sales really bringing profits in PC games, and this very well could be the real Runic’s strategy: a bold experiment, which just might prove a point.

      If they don’t discount T2 very quickly after launch, and/or run a bunch of promotions basically giving it away for pennies, their profits could get (and stay) pretty high for quite some time. In light of this reasoning, all the promotions for original Torchlight make perfect sense – just get it on as many monitors as possible, to build awareness and interest for the sequel.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      I’ll very likely get both, but were they released at the same time, D3 would be the priority, and TL would be the “casual 30 minutes before dinner” type of thing.

  4. Uglycat says:

    I’m beginning to think that Blizzard is employing the tactic of delaying things so long that people become turned off the product and move onto something else.

    • simoroth says:

      They are only releasing it since they’ve realised that they’ll need some money to pay their lawyers.

    • SiHy_ says:

      Well that tactic’s worked on me. I was excited about it a month ago, now… meh. Guess I’m just a fickle internet dweller. Oh well, back to playing the million other games I own and haven’t yet tried.

  5. pakoito says:

    Expected. They decided to change a lot of gameplay systems last week and that will take time.

    • trjp says:

      It’s the gameplay systems sir – they need changing.

      The gameplay systems? Entire gameplay systems?? Changing them? All of them??

      Yes Sir – gameplay systems it is – we need to change them.

      Change them? Gameplay Systems?? Will it take time??

      Yes Sir, Time will be taken by the changing. The changing of the gameplay systems will take time. All of them. All of it.

      Really? The gameplay systems?? Changing??? On my…. the time…

  6. Schelome says:

    Well, its the best we have ever gotten from blizzard afaik, until they actually announce the release some month before…

    • trjp says:

      This is how Yoda would speak if he spend his life on the Blizzard Forums…

    • Srethron says:

      How Yoda would speak, this is. How he would. On the Blizzard forums, yes perhaps.

  7. phylum sinter says:

    I think given the recent flood of beta tester invites that have gone out (100k of them on Feb. 2nd, according to Blizzard here – http://us.battle.net/d3/en/blog/4387510/100000_Diablo_III_Beta_Invites-2_2_2012#blog ) They are really pushing to make it this time.

    • trjp says:

      They aren’t pushing hard enough – they didn’t include me! :)

    • luckystriker says:

      @phylum sinter thanks to your post I decided to check my battle.net account. I got into beta! <3

  8. kukouri says:

    And then everything went wrong.

    • Rhin says:

      It was then I realized my companion hadn’t been gaining strength; he had
      been losing what was left of his humanity.

  9. Zyper says:

    Honestly, they should plan on setting a release date closer to when they feel it’s ready to be released, because now if they push it back, it will just disappoint gamers more… Just my take on the whole ordeal.

  10. tyrrin says:

    I am over it! Would have been bad ass a few years ago, but playing the demo now? I ROFL’d.

  11. diebroken says:

    If they do, they can finish the game after Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans… ;)

    • InternetBatman says:

      Adventure games are dead. They have to get a kickstarter to complete it.

  12. Tony M says:

    Diablo 3… Is that the new Valve game? I know its something to do with DOTA.

  13. misterT0AST says:

    This is one of those games that I absolutely don’t care about, but when it WILL eventually be released I’ll see a couple screenshots, watch some let’s play videos, and then feel the urge to buy it anyway.
    That’s how Blizzard works. Everything seems so slick, and appealing, and colorful, and cheerful even when it’s supposed to be grim and gloomy.
    Those guys know something about my brain that I don’t. Everything feels always so good in Blizzard games, and I still can’t exactly tell why.
    No matter how irritating they can be as a company, their games are pure drugs, pure endorphins, pure gaming pleasure.
    Their games are perfect at a psychological, NEUROLOGICAL level. It’s almost scary.

    • kael13 says:

      Years and years of iteration to get the gameplay to that sweet spot. They certainly put the effort in.

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      FriendlyFire says:

      I just have to remember this is Actiblizz we’re speaking about. Seeing Kotick’s staring eyes every time you think about a Blizzard game should be one hell of a turn off :)

  14. Bork Titflopsen says:

    This is just another way of saying “Soon!”

    I’ve learned to disregard anything Blizzard says about releasedates or included features. All you can really do is check out their games when they’re done and hope for the best.

    It seems their whole marketing strategy has turned from “It’s done when it’s done.” to “Let’s make very little games, create hype around them and then keep delaying their release just long enough for people not to lose interest.”

    Although it’s a brilliant marketing strategy in and of itself, I personally find it attrocious that they get away with manipulating their audience like that and I’m sure we’ll all boycot their games like we do games with Ubisoft’s DRM system, right guys? Who’s with me?! Guys? Girls?

    Oh, you’re all standing in line for Diablo 3? Fine… TAKE MY MONEY AND GRAB ME A COPY TOO!

    • MondSemmel says:

      I don’t get that attitude. On the one hand, everybody hates major day 1 patches, broken balancing at launch, gazillions of crashes to desktop during the first few launch weeks etc., and also the iterative mania of making one “XY Manager 201Z” game every year…
      And on the other hand, when a company takes its time, everybody complains, too.

      Are we just incapable of being happy with anything? =(

    • Ridnarhtim says:

      No, them taking all the time they need is great. It’s just odd that not a single company seems to be able to get a vague idea of when their game will be done. I’d be happy with them saying ‘Diablo III will be done in December 2012,’ if that’s when it’s actually done!

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      Keymonk says:

      @MondSemmel:

      Yes.

  15. iARDAs says:

    This game will be named Diablo Forever

    *cough Duke Nukem cough*

  16. Shortwave says:

    Is there any news on the region lock?
    Region lock is such a deal breaker..
    Or was that just mass paranoia of some kind?

    • zergrush says:

      Their last statement regarding that said that you can only use the real money auction house thing on your main region, but can play on whatever region you choose.

    • empfeix says:

      buy a copy of the region you prefer, like sc2 players do

    • sneetch says:

      So you could just trade the item to someone in another region who can then auction it?

      @empfeix

      Some people want to be able to play with friends in two or more regions, expecting them to buy two or more copies seems a bit unreasonable.

    • zergrush says:

      It still sucks if you have a group of friends spread across multiple regions.

      I’m glad it’s not an issue anymore, I wouldn’t get it if it was region locked.

      @sneetch

      I think it will work like the Diablo 2 servers, you choose it before creating a character, so the items on that account will be locked to the specific regions auction house.

    • empfeix says:

      @sneetch I guess my point is Blizzard already did this with Starcraft. I just wouldnt put it past them.

    • sneetch says:

      @empfeix Ah, my apologies, I mistook your post for a “suck-it-up” post, I have to agree with you, they probably will do it again and tell us that it benefits the customer, somehow.

    • Shortwave says:

      Haha, I’m fine with admitting it.
      I ONLY have friends in other regions! Ha.

  17. MrPyro says:

    I thought Diablo was already a point and click adventure game

  18. InternetBatman says:

    I played WoW on and off for a year or two, but I’m really just not interested in this.

  19. Velvetmeds says:

    That date will mark the end of my life

  20. MythArcana says:

    Just in time to have lost complete interest in the project…

    Most everything I play these days is turn-based and I couldn’t be happier.

  21. alundra says:

    Kinda late news, this has been known for weeks, including the art director and lead producer quitting, RPS gotta start reporting the way they are consolizing the game, I’m sorry, adapting it for wider audiences….

    • Hrymeq says:

      Uhm, elaborate please Alundra for us without beta access. How are they consolizing the game?

    • alundra says:

      removed the Scroll of Identification. Instead of using this item to identify items, users simply right-click on the object in question and wait for the character to examine it. They’re also moving the fifth quick slot button and turning it into a dedicated potion button. The Mystic artisan is also getting evicted, as the team didn’t feel that she added anything to the customization system.

      removal of the Cauldron of Jordan and Nephalem Cube, changes to the core character attributes, moving character stats into the inventory UI and more.

      source: tomshardware

      To me all that sounds like over simplification, how can they remove the cube?? There’s even talk about it getting gamepad support.
      If all this is they paying attention to the beta feedback from “the community” then they managed to get a bunch of console kids of the beta testing.