Blizzard Reveals Diablo 3’s Release as “Early 2012”

Since Blizzard launched their new D3 blog-style site, fans have noted that upcoming posts often appear in the right side navigation menu before they go live. That’s provided a few laughs so far, but tonight it showed something rather shocking.

“Soon” Was Too Soon — Diablo III to Arrive in Early 2012
9/23/11 1:23am

The full post is not up (but it was, until it was removed but luckily we have it preserved here) and the preview is no longer showing, but numerous fans spotted it when it was visible, and you can see it in a screenshot below, thanks to ElexorienGR. While it’s not a big surprise that D3 (apparently?) won’t be released in 2011, as often as Blizzard has said, “We’re still trying.” fans had been keeping hope alive. As much as they’re still working on — runestones being overhauled, total Demon Hunter resource and skill reshuffling, Beta running behind schedule, etc — I guess this isn’t a real surprise.

Now, for the inevitable question. How “early” is “early 2012?” Are we talking January, or April?


The full post went up some hours after we posted this preview, and you can see it here.

While this news might not be a complete surprise, I know that many of you were hopeful that Diablo III would ship this year. We were too. However, this week we pulled together people from all of the teams involved with the game to decide whether we felt it would be ready before the end of December, and we grudgingly came to the conclusion that it would not. Ultimately, we feel that to deliver an awesome Diablo sequel that lives up to our expectations and yours as well, we should take a little more time and add further polish to a few different elements of the game.

Click through for the full quote from Mike Morhaime.

We commonly use the term “soon” when referring to Blizzard releases, because we know that no matter how hard we’re working to reach a target, we’re not going to compromise and launch a game before it’s ready. For Diablo III, we were aiming to launch by the end of 2011. As we’re announcing globally today, our new target for the game is early 2012.

While this news might not be a complete surprise, I know that many of you were hopeful that Diablo III would ship this year. We were too. However, this week we pulled together people from all of the teams involved with the game to decide whether we felt it would be ready before the end of December, and we grudgingly came to the conclusion that it would not. Ultimately, we feel that to deliver an awesome Diablo sequel that lives up to our expectations and yours as well, we should take a little more time and add further polish to a few different elements of the game.

The upside of today’s announcement is that we will be running the beta test longer than we initially planned, which will allow us to invite more of you who have opted in.

For those taking on the Diableard challenge, we salute you — and now fear for your well-being and personal hygiene. We hereby issue an official reprieve to all Diableard participants, including Blizzard employees, if you want to trim or otherwise manage the lower half of your face. We’d still love to see your beardly achievements, and we look forward to seeing more of your efforts as we move into 2012, but not to the detriment of your workplaces and significant others.

Thank you everyone for your support and anticipation for Diablo III. We’re still moving ahead at full pace, and we’ll be keeping you fully informed of any news and developments here at, including the specific release date when the time comes, so stay tuned.

-Mike Morhaime

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106 thoughts on “Blizzard Reveals Diablo 3’s Release as “Early 2012”

  1. Seems i was right off the bat…when i saw they intended to change the DH skill system whatever + auction house + BS. U can’t make major changes without testing and retesting them….u have to be a legitimate fool to think these changes could be finished/wrapped till the end of this year.
    U forget 90% of the Blizzard company still works to milk out wow players with noob patches…. i wonder if even the janitor of Blizzard is even working on D3…

  2. NOOO, I was hoping I could lose my social life (I mean, play!) in dec-jan-feb… Oh, the horror.
    I am disapoint
    Seriously, if I played the beta for over 3 months without the game shipping I would go crazy.

  3. Sad if true. 🙁 It would’ve been interesting to see just how well a major Blizzard release (not in the least D3) would do in the Christmas retail sales.

  4. Sounds like D3 will come out right when Battlefield 3 starts to get boring!! Wish it was sooner though 😈

  5. Bugger. Kinda anticipated this, but it still sucks when you hear it.

    (woot! actually able to log into this and comment for the first time in 3 days)

  6. Milking its an Activision policy which Blizzard embraced rather well since the companies merged together  🙄

    • How can they “milk” a product by not releasing it? In fact, delaying something so that it can get more polish is the exact OPPOSITE of cashing out.

  7. Some questions to those who know: 

    How long did Starcraft 2 beta lasted?

    How long after the SC2 beta ended did SC2 come out?  

    Maybe some similar estimation can be made concerning Diablo 3 IF the game doesnt contain some MAJOR bugs that take longer to adjust 🙂 

    • Starcraft 2 beta can’t really be used as they had problems with the battlenet 2 gaming platform which effected the release of the game and got the beta extended by a weeks if not months. This is a none factor with D3 but of cause D3 ran into a few problems as well.
      I expect it will come out sometime in February.

    • Not only that but SC2 needed to be tested for balance as well as infrastructure. The beta was for months and when it ended it was down for over a month and then back into beta for a week and then down again shortly before release. But as he said, that was when Bnet2.0 was just launching so it is kind of hard to compare them.

  8. Haha Max Schaefer was right. Probably all because of bnet functionality and the AH too. What a shitty company they have become….

    • Then don’t buy their products and please stop hanging around their fan sites?

      This is ridiculous. Blizzard is a good company BECAUSE they don’t release unfinished products. Are you really so shortsighted that you’ve forgotten that?

  9. Ugh the only thing is that when you go past the xmas rush deadline, there’s very little pressure to release, so this could easily mean february 2011, or later even.  Well, i’ll just recite the mantra and put myself in a trance – you can’t go wrong if you release when it’s ready.

    • That’s what people said about Burning Crusade, but Blizz released it mid January… I’m just kind of surprised that they thought the game needed so much more polish as to delay the game another month or two…

  10. I would never have believed it
    D3 started company wide internal testing May 1, 2011
    they have a crap load of money to hire more testers, they have a huge and experienced QA department, they have experienced devs and network people who have worked on bnet 2.0 and WOW and SC 
    and yes, those are all separate teams, but they obviously talk to each other
    I would have bet anything that D3 would be released by christmas (although I always believed it would ship without the RMAH and that that would be added later)

    • 4.5 months of internal testing 
      3 months of beta testing
      3 months of polishing the game (at least)
      I guess my estimation at the end of february was wrong 👿

      Earliest ETA at  begining of second quarter – meaning in April 2012! Still its at the begining of 2012  😆

      • What? You are a moron dude… they don’t do months of polishing between beta and release… they polish while the beta is going on… stop being such a raving pessimist…

  11. This is too the people that argued with me about the game getting released this year…. told you that you had your head in the clouds

  12. wtf are they doing serisouly, diablo is a game with 5 classes 4 acts and no high end content but farming… Does it take 5years to developp such a game?

    • Technically it will take 12 years to develop Diablo 3 but actualy the development started from stratch in 2005. So we can say it will take 7 years to complete Diablo 3.

    • seriously, they have been cutting down on features the last six monthes and still they don’t have enough time to finish the game.
      all this second guessing blizzard does is useless, cause they end up making a bad decision.
      I mean look at the beta, the long development time has really produced exception quality:
      1. voice acting and dialog is shit.
      2. armor sets are laughable
      3. the story seems to be simplistic as possible and a cliche one at that.
      4. music with no variety
      5. an overly easy game(they had all this time to balance the difficulty and this is what they came up with?)
      6. continually cutting back on features(offline mode, only four gems now, talisman, etc
      7. crappy monster sound effects.
      there is a lot more but you get the point.

  13. This is by far the longest wait for any game. Every day I check this site. Then the official site, some forums, hunting for any news…and its getting more tiresome every day. Each day some bad news like this comes I feel dejected and it affects the way I do other things.
    What the hell is wrong with the team? They have been testing since May 1 for God’s sake. And we’ve been waiting for nearly four frikking years. They have no right to screw the fans like this for years and years…

    • They have no right? Are you hearing yourself? They have every right to release products when they are ready – as in this case – or NEVER – as in the case of some past titles.

  14. Sonsofbleaches I knew it!!! I was right not to expect D3 in 2011 with the stupidass beta starting so late. I assume when they say early 2012, they mean the first quarter, so since they said the same thing about the beta, they’re gonna leave it at the last minute again, April 2012.

    And before anyone says the beta DID start in the 3rd quarter, I say: yes it did, but they didn’t have to start it at THE END of the 3rd quarter! F&Noobz beta doesn’t even count! They JUST started sending out beta keys to random people, so yes it’s indeed END OF 3RD QUARTER.

    I hate Blizzard now, period.

  15. Seriously? Don’t you ever get tired of milking your fans for yrs on every game you make?How long have you been making this game and yet you want to milk it even longer now?If anything this milking process you do is nothing but a turn off.
    I thought the bottom line was to finish the damn game and sell the thing???

    What a slap in the fans face.Good job

    • How is it milking something when they are spending more money on it, not making money? Go conspiracy theorize somewhere else…

      • learn to comprehend what you are seeing doucher.Not assuming like you are doing.Go back to that place you call a wow forum and be rude there
        MILKING=over-hyping the game like they always do.
        Go sit back down and shut up now.
        /end discussion jr

        • When you milk a cow, you extract milk from its udders over a period of time.
          When you milk a customer, you extract money from their wallets over a period of time.
          How much have you spent on Diablo III?  At most, you’re pre-ordered it like everybody else.  Before you call people douches, you should probably learn what “milking” really is.

    • It;s not really a joke when this is exactly how they have released every single on of their games after changing their names to Blizzard a gazillion years ago…

  16. I iz sad panda… was hoping to be able to play it during christmas break before my time was consumed by classes, but oh well… 🙁

  17. Thats just no good! winter is the only time for gaming.. now pushed to 2012 have to rethink my pre-order.
    Was on board with Diablo from the start, but seriously 2012 is just too far when we have seen so much now.

  18. Well, I’ve been saying mid 2011 ever since 08. Then after witnessing the slow pace of development, said 2012 ever since 2010. No one ever believed me at the time though, and thought the dates were way too farfetched, hah.

    No matter how many times Blizzard “disappoints” people with their delays, people just don’t seem to learn that Blizzard sucks at keeping their projected schedules. This is the whole reason why they’ve stopped giving projections on release dates/patches/fixes/betas/features/content/etc entirely ever since 4 or so years ago and replaced it with terms like “soon” or “when it’s ready”. Seriously, Blizzard has delayed some portion or another of each game that they’ve ever released. Maybe it’s because a lot of fans here haven’t been with Blizzard long enough or don’t play WoW or Starcraft, because otherwise you’d know exactly what I’m talking about.

    When they say this week, it means next next week.
    When they say next week, it means sometime by the end of the month.
    When they say by the end of this month, it means in 2 months.
    When they say by the end of this year, it means the middle of the next.
    And so on…

    Anyways, I’m a happy camper. It’s coming, and Blizzard is being Blizzard like usual with their long release, no surprises for me. It’ll probably be here by the end of February, and I don’t think it’ll get delayed any further.


    • I believe(d) 2012 too.  Want proof.  Go check my guess in the release date thread.  I still stand by it.

  19. This just in: people haven’t followed Blizzard game development before.

    It’s like flashbacks of when D2 got delayed.

  20. I’m laughing at all the rage here! Come on guys, is this your first Blizzard game or something? What, are you 15 years old? My first Blizzard game was Warcraft I.  These delays always happen and it really isn’t anyone’s fault. I’ve worked for a large software company, I know how it goes.

  21. Well, with my luck the game will be released end of march, when I will have to study hours a day not to be kicked out of class… I am an old guy, but I was seriously considering going through to inferno with all classes, gathering lots of lewts… now if I have time to finish the game once with each I’ll be a lucky bastard haha.
    At least I will update my gaming rig to PWN this game.

    But i have to congratulate Blizzard for at least being sincere and concerned with quality, once again.

    • If they’re truly concerned with quality then the game will be pushed back past march as they re-assess their entire item system.

  22. All of u mark my words. This game will go live 10…16’ish March..not sooner not later. I am willing to bet my neighbors wife on this one

  23. I knew this was going to happen at some point, glad they told us now. I don’t know why this game needs so much work, it’s ridiculous!

  24. So they found a way to milk another 6+ months out of 1/3 of an Act. I just LoL….. Well there is no way I am passing up Kingdoms of Amalur just for this. Guess I’ll buy it eventually. Looks like it is going to be a Torchlight 2 holiday, oh and I guess Max Shaeffer was correct afer all.

  25. Well, i was really hoping the game will be released in 2011 but there is a part of myself that is really happy. This move is proof for me that blizzard… is still BLIZZARD 🙂

  26. The game is polished, but the auction house is not.  The RMAH must be perfect before the game is released due to real money being on the line.
    The RMAH house is what is delaying Diablo 3.
    Source – Common Sense

    • I agree that is part of it (sorry, I commented below before seeing your comment).
      Which really sucks since I don’t give two sh#ts about the RMAH.  If they wanted to make me a happy customer, they would instead focus on an offline mode that will work even if my network connection is down.

  27. Assuming they don’t slip again, the safe bet seems to be to pick the latest possible date that still qualifies as ‘kinda early 2012’.  June sounds too close to the mid-point, so I’m thinking maybe May 31?

    To be honest, it sounds like they have some pretty major modifications still going on.  The Demon Hunter sounds like it is getting a lot of changes based on testing feedback.  The gold Auction House has had issues, and the real money one has to be a ton more complex since it deals servers for payments.

    I think it would be wise for Blizzard to open up more Acts to a smallish group of beta testers under an NDA.  I’ll bet Act I was already the most tested.  Even though their QA department is supposed to be good, it is hard to replicate the strange and devious things real gamers will do/try/exploit.

  28. Wow, just, wow. I read in early 2011, no new Blizzard game this year. Check this site in like July and read big announcements to come August 1st NDA day. Suddenly there’s talk of beta, and releasing it this year, but seriously… WTF happened? I hope blizzard realized this game is falling short and the delay will at least be worth it… And not like SC2 which could have probably been released in 2008 or 2009 and it wouldn’t have made much of a difference. 

  29. Goddamnit, I’m ashamed of myself for holding my breath. To think I actually saw myself enjoying a Thanksgiving Weekend D3 marathon, or playing the game during Christmas break… LOL
    Oh well. Can’t help but wonder how much patching they plan on doing post-release (whenever that is), considering the problems they’re running into simply can’t be dealt with in ~3 months.

  30. Wow….this is……SOOOO..what I didn’t want to hear. At the same time, I’m not really surprised. December always felt as a ‘hopeful’ release date, but an unlikely one. Oh well, whatever it is they gotta do to the game will make it all the sweeter once we have it. Best way to look at. Still though…..Damn…that sux.

  31. Do you wanna know why d3 is delayed? i will tell you… Because blizzard are afraid of failure they are scared alot. they can put all teams in blizzard to work on diablo 3 and release it this year  but so many good games are coming  and d3 wont sell well.i waithing 7 years for this game and i m disappointed.Go f yourself MM.

  32. I can’t decide if this is fml moment or a “I knew it all along” moment. Maybe both =\. Looking on the positive side, at least we can assume that the game won’t be rushed along to meet some self-imposed deadline. Honestly, I have enough tnings to do so the extra wait isn’t a huge deal at the end of the day.

    • That would be more delays, and they want to keep things secret. Also, the Beta is not just half of the act. It’s a much-rearranged, chopped and reordered preview, with numerous quests and levels removed to withhold cool content stuff. Article on this with multiple examples coming soon.

      • I look forward to the article.. Because from what I knew it was half of act 1, to get impressions on the introduction to the game and all that. Not that I don’t believe you flux ^_^

  33. I’m not surprised at the release date being pushed to 2012… I AM surprised at how much this news has bummed me out.

  34. A good half of the comments in this thread are HILARIOUS!  Seriously, the game has been delayed one to three months and you’re acting like it’s the end of the world.

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