The existence of Diablo III Starter Edition and Guest Pass keys has been confirmed in an article on Blizzard's support website, proving that the hotly anticipated action-RPG will include a limited access "free trial" version for players who do not own the game.
According to the support article, every physical boxed copy of Diablo III will include a Guest Pass key, which players can give friends to access the Starter Edition of the game. Of course, the Starter Edition of the game is limited, and it contains content and restrictions similar to that of the Diablo III beta.
- Act I up to the Skeleton King is available (just like in the beta)
- Characters are capped at level 13
- Matchmaking available only with other Starter Edition players
- No Real Money Auction House access
The article indicates that the Diablo III Starter Edition will require a Guest Pass key for at least 30 days after the official launch of the game, some point after which the Starter Edition should become available to anyone who wishes to try the game out.
Players of the Starter Edition will naturally be able to upgrade their trial game to the full version through the Battle.net Account Management page, or likely with a key from a physical copy of the game as well.