In good news for gamers of the '90s, Blizzard announced just over two years ago that they would continue the Diablo franchise and make a sequel to Diablo II.
Two years later, with the addition of a few months, Blizzard released a private beta which signals the game must be pretty near completion. Activision have stated that they hoped to release the game in late 2011, which due to the beta being released only a week ago means either the company is extremely optimistic or it was going to be delayed - inevitably the outcome was the latter of those two.
In fact Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said in a statement today:
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 III to release a game that was almost ready. 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.
The company is now aiming for a 'early 2012' release date of the game due to not being able to commit to a 2011 release. It’s clear that the additional time will be used to thoroughly test the beta and get the required feedback from the lucky few who get a hold of the beta invites. A wave of beta invites are being readied to be sent and Blizzard notes that “"Players who have an active Battle.net® account with any Blizzard game attached to it should visit Battle.net account management to opt in for a chance to participate in the beta test.”
Image credit: Blizzard