Blue Info on the Beta End Date, Release Date, and D3’s Full Game Demo

Bashiok’s been quite forthcoming with the dates and times and other such info since returning from his end of year vacation. Either D3’s far enough along that Bliz PR has loosened the leashes that usually hold the CMs back from sharing juicy details, or DiabloWikiBashiok is a believer in the eschatology of Mayan calendar prophecies and figures he has nothing to lose.

See his comments below for news on the end of the beta, the likely timeline of a DiabloWikirelease date announcement, and news that the Diablo 3 demo would not be anything like the Diablo 3 Beta.

We probably won’t end beta until shortly before release, and traditionally we’ve tried to announce release dates about two months before release. I couldn’t speculate how invites might ramp up or down when the beta finally comes to a close, it definitely is not coming to a close yet though.

Bashiok did say there was a strong possibility of a demo after release.
We’ll probably make a trial edition at some point. It’s sort of a demo I suppose, but it’s a bit better because it’s essentially the full game just with locks put on certain areas. So you’d be able to jump into multiplayer games with your friends, but maybe you wouldn’t be able to play beyond a certain place and wouldn’t have access to all the game systems (certainly not auction houses) but if you choose to buy the game all that stuff just unlocks.

A full game demo seems perfectly logical, now that he mentions it. After all, that’s basically what WoW does for a demo / trial, and since Diablo 3’s on the same sort of architecture, why not do it for D3 as well? I’m sure they’ll put a time limit on the free play, and include a very easy way to, “buy now to unlock the full game and keep your demo characters!”

As for the release date, what Bashiok said here is basically what we’ve been speculating since all of those beta key contests were revealed to run well into late January or beyond. The math is pretty simple, if we use Blizzard’s usual timing as a template. They’ve said that “early 2012” is basically the same thing as “first quarter 2012,” which probably means a release date targeted for late March, and announced in late January. Best case scenario.


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  1. If it’s a full game with locks, then wouldn’t people eventually be able to break the locks?

  2. As a big hater of spring and a senior in high school I am strongly against March release date, but, on the other hand I am happy that the game finally has something akin to a release date.

  3. Looks like Best Buy are going to be rescheduling their midnight opening.

  4. I am dreading a March-end release. I am in a B-school, and have my summer internship in April-May when I will have to work my ass off if I want to land the job. Daaamn.

  5. I am holding strong on a March Release.   If not March then well who knows after that but small goals is what I am reaching for.

  6. Bashiok said “traditionally they try”, but I can’t help I can’t find anything traditional in all this Korea desaster of epic proportions, in short: Anything is possible now.

    Did I mention already that Bashiok seems to be a troll?

  7. “I’m sure they’ll put a time limit on the free play”
    They probably won’t, but they will heavily restrict anything that can intrude on others. I have a feeling that accounts such as those will not be able to whisper, join chat channels or request friends (they would be able to accept friend requests from others) to reign in spam, just like in WoW, as those accounts can be created without any repercussions or cost for spammers. They might even disallow joining on public games because of that, but that’s just me guessing.

    • I agree – WoW’s trial doesn’t even have a time-limit anymore, they just limit you to level 20. A D3 demo is likely to give you unlimited time but limit you in other ways.
      They’ve stated before that quest/act completion won’t be strictly necessary in multiplayer, so you can join up with people who are further ahead in the game without many issues. This suggests that they’ll probably allow access to a number of areas for the trial account but lock off certain dungeons and boss encounters. They could lock off end-act bosses, for instance since you won’t “need” to kill them to progress with friends.

      • WoW’s trial came after years…
        I’d say SC2’s trial is what we should look at to see how D3’s might look like.

  8. He clarifies in this thread that Q1 was a a mistake on his part:
    He meant to say ‘early 2012’. Read between the lines folks: Q1 is NOT likely. Let’s be serious, it’s blizz we’re talking about here (they’re never on time), and the korea RMAH issues are no doubt slowing everything as well even if they do not want to admit it.

    • Yeah it’s weird that he would go back to correct that unless it’s reasonably likely that it could be after Q1.  I was pretty confident in a late March release date before this, but now I’m thinking April and May are within the realm of possibility.

    • Or he’s just being a Blizzard PR person and covering his ass by not giving out specifics that he shouldn’t have in the first place… In my eyes, it means that he knows that they are shooting for Q1, but he isn’t supposed to have given out that information and let it slip by accident…

  9. The title of this article made my heart jumped a bit only to be disappointed. Another set of vague blue posts.

  10. Wonder if that means if we don’t see a release date announced by the end of this month, if D3 won’t be out till after March.

  11. One thing is clear, if D3 was not released before Blizzcon they will have a riot for sure!!
    People will start to destroy the facilities in rage!!! They can not simply play with our minds like this!
    WTF are they thinking?

  12. the topic let rise my expectations and then again it is just nonsense bashiok says about the release date and beta end date 🙁

  13. Does Walmart know something we dont know ? Look guys what i found in my email today .

    • Yes, they know that game probably won’t come in early Feb so they moved their estimated release date on Mar 31.

      • Yep.  Like all other distributors, they’re going with the most optimistic release date possible so that people think the game is closer and have more motivation to pre-order.

  14. postino…dont be so gullible. or TROLL, lol. 8)

    • Care to translate for us non german speaking? 🙂

      • For those who don’t speak German:
        We got EU shipping info from a logistics guy. Holding area for dozens of pallets with Diablo 3 boxes (standard & CE) have been booked at a European terminal. It’s currently scheduled for week 7 and 8 this year. Add 10 to 14 days for the delivery to the retailers, and you have Diablo 3 on shelves around end of February/early March (unless it is cancelled, which they already did back in November 2011 where they originally wanted to release the game).

        • Thank you! Let’s hope this is real! (and does not get cancelled this time!).

          Anyway, if this is true, we should know in 10-15 days because blizzard should announce the release date by then…

          • Yup. Assuming Bashiok’s post with a “traditional” announcement around 8 weeks before release, this announcement should come pretty quick now.

        • Given this I’m going to say 29th of Feb just because it’s a leap year >=D

  15. — double post —

  16. Translated by Google:
    As we learned today afternoon by a reliable person to be in the 7th and 8th (13. February to 26. February (Calendar week (yep, this year), dozens, expect several meters high pallets packed with the Diablo 3 standard versions and collector’s editions in a major international hub. The destination: the big German store chains like Media Markt, Saturn etc.

    The shipping date could not disclose the source for understandable reasons, but if you take from 10-14 days, starting from large warehouse, it could be Diablo 3 end of February or early March in the stores. The so-called “gold” version and the manuals should therefore be straight in the press. Incidentally, we were also told that Diablo 3 was registered in November 2011 and was ever canceled again. KW 7 / 8 have also been booked under the reservation, but we go out assume that it works this time. As far as our current information. Once more we know about, of course, now there’s an update.

    Many thanks go to the bearer of good news!

    • And here is the non-google version (again): 😉
      We got EU shipping info from a logistics guy. Holding area for dozens of pallets with Diablo 3 boxes (standard & CE) have been booked at a European terminal. It’s currently scheduled for week 7 and 8 this year. Add 10 to 14 days for the delivery to the retailers, and you have Diablo 3 on shelves around end of February/early March (unless it is cancelled, which they already did back in November 2011 where they originally wanted to release the game).

  17. You guys are only setting yourselves up for disappointment

  18. The Mayan calendar does not predict the end of the world, it actually predicts the release date of D3.

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