Blizzard Says They Do Not Reveal Release Dates to Retailers

A few days ago we posted the news that was sending “Diablo 3 delayed into second quarter 2012” emails to everyone who had pre-ordered the title. The explanation from was that the publisher had informed them of the delay. This news caused much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, despite the fact that the past three years has brought a perpetual parade of wildly incorrect DiabloWikiDiablo 3 release dates from nearly every online retailer you can name. Given that the first 500 release dates were much too early, wouldn’t it be nice if some now started missing in the other direction?

We don’t know if that’s how’s “June 30, 2012” prediction will fare, but MeddlinG emailed to say Bashiok has pointed out, once again, that Blizzard does not give inside info on their release dates to retailers.

Hah. So has the super secret inside scoop of release dates and doesn’t? That’s rich. Why would we tell any retailer a release date? Let alone a German specific outlet of a single retailer?

Retailers will find out the release date the same time you do.

Note that Bashiok didn’t refute the release date, or offer any additional statement on a release date. Then again, would you have expected him to do so? Click through for some more “Inside Baseball” type analysis of how Blizzard info leaks occur, and how this rumor (if it is a rumor) might have started.

As I don’t think pulled this date and the explanation completely from thin air, here’s a possible explanation. “Blizzard” isn’t just one person, or one voice, or one company, or even one continent. It’s a massive conglomerate, with thousands of employees and PR people and marketing people, etc. While our main exposure is to the Blizzard Irvine nerve center, where Bashiok is located, there are other offices all over the world, and we’ve seen info leaks from many of them. Just to list a few: the future product schedule from China, the Monk debuted an hour early from Korea, and an anonymous source that let IncGamers (us!) know that D3 was being debuted a day before it was, back in June 2008.

So yes, leaks occur all the time, and from all over the world. And Blizzard employees all over the world talk to other media, retailers, marketing people, etc. And it’s quite possible that someone in the German office talked to someone at, or possibly to a bunch of retailers, and said something about Diablo III being delayed further. Whether that was accurate inside info or just speculation, we don’t know. (Though we’ll find out soon enough.)

This does reinforce the concept I brought up (to some misunderstanding; check the comments for details) in a post yesterday. Bashiok is an employee of Blizzard PR, and it’s often his job to give us the official company line. Consider two hypothetical possibilities: 1) He knows that D3 is going to be released in mid-February and that a big release date announcement is imminent. 2) He knows that D3 is going to be delayed (again) and the post is correct. In neither case would he even hint at that. He’d say what he did; that retailers don’t get advance inside info on release dates. (Which they very often do, just not from Blizzard. Or at least that’s their official story and they’re sticking to it.)

I suppose most of you guys already realize this, but the vast majority of the words from Blizzard’s CMs, especially regarding future plans/release dates/etc, can be reduced to, “I can neither confirm nor deny that.” How well they do at never actually using those words is a fair measure of their relative PR job skill.

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12 thoughts on “Blizzard Says They Do Not Reveal Release Dates to Retailers

  1. Ugh after 3 years people still make arguments about retailers setting release dates to get more preorders.
    Sorry dumbasses!

  2. Assuming there even is an release date in mind internally (huge if) why would some no name CM know about it? Talk about low on the totem pole. Maybe you should interrogate their janitors next.

  3. We may not know the release date, but since I am building a computer just for this game, I would like to know an estimate of how far ahead Blizzard would give their release date– 2 months in advance?

    • you could have build your “Diablo3” PC 2 years ago and would have been perfectly fine … you get topnotch GPU`s dirtcheap nowadays… especially considering that Diablo3 is not exactly a performance drain to begin with …

  4. so if amazon sent this email without blizzard giving them official information shouldnt blizzard sue amazon?

  5. Snort I already know that it was fake and I know how they came up with it. The reasoning behind it is this no release date = at lest 4 month away = Q2 when in Q2 unknown = default to middle of Q2.

  6. So much for the stupid chinese future product schedule, can’t believe how many dumbasses thought that was gospel

  7. Sometimes, I think that Blizzard does not give release dates to anyone at all or is even committed to releasing in the 1st place.

  8. One of the polish site says April (earlier was February) 2011 for Poland/World/USA: (note: kwiecie? (~kvyetsyenie) = April). And there is spec about hardware requirements (which I think will be a bit higher when we will be roaming the palace in Caldeum and watching city in the background)… But this is only my thought.

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