Friday morning Blizzard Entertainment said that it has pushed back the release date of its highly-anticipated action-RPG PC game, Diablo 3. Instead of a Q4 2011 launch, the game is now expected to arrive on retail shelves and Battle.net in "early" 2012. The news isn't unexpected, but unfortunate nonetheless for those who were hoping to hack/shoot/electrify their way through the holiday season.
"With every game we make, the temptation is always very strong to launch as soon as possible. However, we didn't put so many years of work into Diablo 3 to release a game that was almost ready," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. "The beta test is going very well, and we look forward to making the most of the extra time we're taking to deliver an experience that lives up to our vision for the game and the expectations of our players. Next year is going to be an incredibly busy one for Blizzard, and we hope an incredibly fun one for Blizzard gamers."
As indicated, Blizzard will use the additional time to extend the Diablo 3 closed beta test which launched earlier this week. This means there's a potential for additional players, and anyone with an active Battle.net account that has a Blizzard game attached to it (any Diablo, Warcraft and StarCraft title) should visit Battle.net account management to opt in for a chance to participate in the beta test.
According to Blizzard, additional testing phases, as well as further details regarding the launch plans for the game, will be announced on the company's Diablo 3 community website. In the meantime, check out the first part of our hands-on with the closed beta by heading here.