Blizzard previously stated that it was aiming to release Diablo III in the first quarter of this year. However, in a quarterly conference call that took place yesterday, the publisher revealed that it is now targeting a Q2 2012 launch, which means we can hope to see it in either April, May or June.
On a positive note, Blizzard added that the beta testing and auction house is going “really well.”
The conference call also confirmed that Blizzard will hold a global press event in March detailing the next World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria. More information on Mists of Pandaria will be revealed on 19 March.
There was also mention of StarCraft: Heart of the Swarm, although no release time-frame was provided. According to the call, the game will focus on “iconic Kerrigan” and new multiplayer units. Blizzard also noted that it plans to take a more active role in eSports in 2012.
Blizzard confirmed that it plans to release multiple titles in 2012, including Blizzard DOTA which will be free-to-play. Blizzard also confirmed that it is still working on its unannounced MMO.
As for the Diablo III delay; it should hardly come as a surprise to anyone who follows Blizzard. Having said that, in a recent poll conducted on the Diablo III forums, the vast majority of fans expected Blizzard to release the game before March.
Blizzard also recently announced that it is making some key changes to the core gameplay mechanics following beta feedback.
“Our job isn’t just to put out a game, it’s to release the next Diablo game. No one will remember if the game is late, only if it’s great,” wrote game director Jay Wilson in a blog post over on the official Diablo III site.
“We trust in our ability to put out a great game, but we’re not quite there yet. In addition to finishing and polishing the content of the game we’re continuing to iterate on some of the core game systems.”