D3 Intro Cinematic Debuts Tonight

A reminder that the Diablo III opening cinematic will premiere tonight, Saturday December 10th, during the Spke TV Video Game Awards show. Here’s Blizzard’s news plug for the event:

Be sure to tune into Spike TV’s Video Game Awards tomorrow night, December 10 at 8:00 p.m. / 7:00 p.m. Central. Diablo III’s full opening cinematic will make its world premiere during the show. It seems an appropriate time to share how the tone is set for our forthcoming game, as Spike has announced that they’ll bestow their second-ever Gamer God Award upon Blizzard Entertainment’s three founders, Mike Morhaime, Allen Adham, and Frank Pearce.

Check out Spike TV’s official announcement for all the show’s details and make sure your /popcorn is at the ready.

The post has a teaser image from the opening cinematic, which you can see to the right. I smallened it since I think we’ve all seen more than enough of Deckard Cain’s liver spots by now. But that’s not important right now!

1) What’s in the opening cinematic?
2) When in the show will the cinematic be shown?
3) Will we get a release date, as is customary when shown a trailer for an upcoming movie/game/etc?
4) Will the cinematic be posted online after the show?
5) Can you watch the Spike Awards online?

1) There’s debate about this in the forums, but I think it’s pretty easy to guess. We know the D3 cinematics are very closely tied to the story of the game, and we know how Act One begins; just after the “falling star” hit the Tristram Cathedral with the hero there to investigate it. We also know that Blizzard isn’t requiring or expecting D3 players to know anything about the story from the previous games.

Considering those facts, I’d say the opening cinematic will almost certainly be from Cain’s PoV, and will explain what’s happened in the story so far. Recap of D1 and D2 events (like Tyrael destroying the Worldstone), some flashbacks, and then coverage of the twenty years since Baal’s defeat, and the mystery Tyrael’s disappearance and Hell’s not-yet-invasion. This will lead right up to the present day, and we’ll likely see Cain in the Cathedral as the the falling star as it crashes down, tears through the floor down into the depths, etc.

Incidentally, we know that the opening cinematic is *not* the DiabloWikiBlack Soulstone movie from Blizzcon; a Blizzard CM has confirmed that one comes later in the game. It seems like we’ll see that one between Act 2 and 3, since it introduces Azmodan and the Hellish invasion, which we know are the key events in Act 3.

2) Good question. They might kick off the show with it, hold it until the end to keep us watching, or throw it up somewhere around the time the Bliz founders are trotted out to get their award.

3) I doubt it. We can hope, and they’ll have to say *something* about when, when they show the trailer for D3. But they may well just give us another, “Early 2012!” which would annoy us, but would be news to most people watching that show. As has been made clear dozens of times, we hardcore fans are not their target audience.

4) Yes, via Blizzard’s official You Tube channel. (Says Bashiok.) We’ll have a news post with links to the video as soon as it’s online.

5) Yes. People in the US, Canada, and Japan can watch the whole show live via vga.spike.com. People in the rest of the world have other, less-convenient options, which you can read about here.

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72 thoughts on “D3 Intro Cinematic Debuts Tonight

  1. I’d put down 4:1 odds that the cinematic shows Cain and Leah in the cathedral, reading through tomes and talking to each other just when the comet comes down and Leah runs for it. Zombies and such would probably start coming up through the ruins as Leah tries to jump back in to save Cain. Likely won’t get a release date.

  2. Spoilers warning please, I didn’t want to know where Azmodan appears in the campaign… but i’m super excited for this trailer to have release date at the end

    but yes can totally see just a “coming soon” or “Q1 2012”

    • Blizzard focused an entire Blizzcon panel around the Black Soulstone cinematic, focused another blizzcon panel around the lore and story, both panels talked extensively about Azmodan’s role as the act 3 boss and leader of the demonic invasion, they released the cinematic that covers that, and referenced it in numerous interviews from blizzcon.

      How much more info does bliz need to reveal about something before it’s not a spoiler? I assume info repeated numerous times by Blizzard people at Blizzcon is no longer secret

      • Hey , I didn’t know any of this; I check this site daily and didn’t see any of the panels to do with Azmodan.

        maybe i just missed it all, but you have to assume not every one knows as much as you do in regards to game.

        but moving on now…. please please please have a release date on the end.. urgh

        • Yeah, I followed everything except the Lore panel and outside of those immediate discussions, there has never been any random surprise mention of Azmodan’s location in the campaign in any random thread that wasn’t specifically about the Lore panel.  Until just now.

  3. @Flux:
    “3) Will we get a release date, as is customary when shown a trailer for an upcoming movie/game/etc?
    3) I doubt it. We can hope, and they’ll have to say *something* about when, when they show the trailer for D3. But they may well just give us another, “Early 2012!” which would annoy us, but would be news to most people watching that show.”
    I’m a bit more optimistic in this regard. If Blizzard would have said that new Battle.net Balance is coming Soon(tm), I would be sceptical, but since they said that the feature is available “in the coming weeks”, I’m confident that we’ll hear a January release date tonite, most likely when the free SWTOR trial period has expired (which would be either January 10th or 17th, 2012 because Bioware decided to put even more pressure on Blizzard by releasing SWTOR one week earlier in the EU on Dec 13, 2011).
    And, Flux, Blizzard has absolutely NO reason anymore to “annoy us” with a mere “early 2012”. Too serious is the situation with respect to WoW vs. SWTOR. On the other hand, I know that you don’t follow the MMO scene as closely as many of us do. ^^

    BTW: Amazon.com has just moved the release date of the “Book of Cain” from Dec 13, 2011 to Jan 10, 2012. That would fit perfectly for a Diablo 3 release on either January 10th or the following week on January 17th. Also, the second issue of the Diablo comic will be out January 18th.

    • Um… Considering that Insight Editions (the publisher) confirmed a Dec. 13th release date, that doesn’t make sense at all… Heh… maybe they got it mixed up with Diablo 3’s release date?

    • Blizzard would never release Book of Cain just before, on, or just after the release of Diablo 3, it would be a completely retarded business move.
      Koticks head would explode from the immediate rush of “Did they really just do that? Who gave them the go ahead on this? Expected sales of Book of Cain down by 100%? How many people am I getting fired today? THE ONLY SALES OF BOOK OF CAIN ARE THE PREORDERS?!?!!!!? HALF OF THE PREORDERS WERE CANCELED?!!!!!!!!!?” questions.

      • there would be nothing wrong with that at all 

        anybody who’s going to buy it would buy it no mater when its released

        do you really believe anyone who’s buying the collector’s edition of D3 will NOT buy the Book of Cain just because its released on the same day ?

  4. “It seems almost certain to be between Act 2 and 3, since it introduces Act 3 boss Azmodan”

    I really liked how in Diablo 2, Mephisto was shown in the cinematic AFTER you kill him, but that was a story told by Marius. If Diablo 3 cinematics are real time, then yeah… this would be the correct order.

  5. The date will definitely be announced today. That much is pretty clear. Because Blizzard does not randomly parade forth their game cinematics at gamer awards. That they’re doing it now means something else is definitely on the cards. At this point, they have NOTHING left to reveal to us other than the release date for Diablo 3. 

    I am so excite.

    • Of course they could reveal the Act I to IV pages of their game guide, but I doubt it. ^^
      Btw, there was a longer, unexpected downtime of the US Diablo III portal at night earlier this week while the WoW portal was up. I wonder what they have been doing there. ^^

  6. I predict the opening trailer is identical to the one we’ve already seen but with ten additional seconds of footage at the end. During these ten seconds, the camera pans over to Belial, who stares directly into the camera for a moment before flashing a giant troll smile. After this, the screen goes black and “Coming soon®” pops up.

    • You predict wrong… the black soulstone cinematic is from the middle of the game and the intro cinematic was already seen by a bunch of press people back in July… 

      • He could be referring to the intro cinematic that was indeed shown in part to the press during the press beta event in the summer – the one that opens up animated comic-strip style.

    • Also, you’d do well to click the link in the post, where it says “a bliz CM confirmed TBS is not the intro cinematic.”

      • Wasn’t referring to the black soulstone video. That is Azmodan, not Belial. Plus I was just poking fun at how Blizzard seem to love trolling the fanbase.

  7. If they don’t announce the release date tonight they definitely don’t know the release date yet. I’m sure they have a couple of dates but they won’t get that much exposure anytime soon in the next weeks so they better do it tonight..or never  😈

    • Especially since the hype around the release date has become higher than the hype around the game itself. Remember that guy on the official forums who has kicked off this gigantic thread with his SVGA announcement/January 10th/17th release date prediction. The whole gaming world is literally staring at the show tonite. Blizzard can’t get any better attention and publicity for the next months.

      • “The whole gaming world is literally staring at the show tonite.”
        The SVGA are a joke, I don’t think many “gamers” really take it seriously or plan to watch it.

      • And with that much publicity, it would be just silly for Blizzard with the “when its done” track record to actually announce a solid release date when they haven’t even properly stressed tested their servers.
        Besides, the real show is just pretty celebrity charades, not video games.

        • The ideal stress test time with loads of beta invites would be when SWTOR launches officially in the USA (Dec 20th, 2011). 😉

  8. If Diablo 3 is going to be released before end of February, then I can’t think of better place then VGA to announce release date. It’s going to be watched by hundreds of thousands of people, loads of them probably do not follow Diablo 3 news, some of them are not interested in game. Whats the better way to attract them then showing them epic cinematic and announcing release date ?

    Let’s be honest, for most of us (people who read this site) it doesn’t metter where and how they announce release date. But from pure marketing point of view, VGA is best place for them.
    It’s already December. Optimistic scenario says Diablo 3 will be released in 2-3 months. That’s execly the time frame when Blizzard announces release dates.

  9. 1. It will probably have Cain and Leah (since we know they were together when the falling star hits) in the cathedral talking and discussing the history of the world when the “falling star” (I don’t really get why everyone calls it that when they also have the word “meteor”) comes down and hits the cathedral and then we see the intro for our chosen class to connect them to the falling star then the game begins…

    2. Knowing how these award shows usually go, they will probably save the gamer god award for near the end and then show the cinematic after the acceptance speech… or they may just show the cinematic in the middle seperate from the gamer god part…

    3. Who knows… hopefully… If not tonight then, at least in the next couple weeks…

    4. Most likely… Blizzard usually puts these sorts of things up on their Youtube page shortly after it goes live…

  10. Video will be on Gametrailers.com as soon as they will show it to the public.
    I think Blizzard was showing part of this intro back in July during press event(fan sites meeting), and there was some heaven vs hell footage. Like it starts from 2d sketches in book and then smoothly transition in fully rendered 3d

    • That “if all goes to plan”-part really bugs me. I mean, this is clearly not about the game intro itself. And a “early 2012” at the end of the intro would be no “nice update”…I really want to believe that they announce the release date but it’s probably something totally different (and totally disappointing) that blizz guy is twittering about.

      • It probably just relates to the follow-up tweet. They shell out another batch of beta keys. Hopefully fansites will get some too as xmas promotion.

  11. Ok, now I know Azmodan is the boss of act 3. I seriously need to stop coming to these sites until release…

  12. I appreciate some of you guys for being so optimistic.  I could only hope for a release date tonight.
    You are just gonna have to call me jaded though.  I’m almost certain January release is not possible.  There are still too many signs that they are at least a couple more months from release.  Blizzard hasn’t done a release announcement with a date less than 2 months out.  (not in the past 3 years at any rate) February is possible but I still think March is far more likely.  SC2 practically had a 3 month announcement.  Cataclysm was 2 months.
    If we get an announcement, I would bet it will be for a date between Feb 7-March 6.

    • @”Blizzard hasn’t done a release announcement with a date less than 2 months out.”
      For the x-th time: Wrong! ^^ Blizzard would do exactly the same thing as they did with WoW “The Burning Crusade” if they say tonite that Diablo 3 is coming mid January. I bet the game is already “golden” and on the way to the press.

    • they did NOT spoil anything

      that is old, old, old news

      anyone who paid attention to BlizzCon  or has read the official forums or has paid any attention at all to any of the fansites knew this already 

      the lore panel at BlizzCon gave away so much info

      • But none of that was front page news, or people could have been specifically not reading Blizzcon coverage. Believe it or not, some people actually want to play through the game without knowing the details of the plot. People have a right to be upset by the spoiler.

        • I completely agree. I had been avoiding very specific information about he storyline of the game. But now, thanks to this post, i know way too much.

          Apparently Cain is back. I had assumed that would be the case, but i would have like to find out for myself.

          Tyreal breaking the worldstone? Baals Defeat? um… i havn’t played D2 yet so i also recommend you put spoiler tags around that because you’ve basically ruined my life.

          Falling star, Hell invasion, 20 years….. the list goes on. If you all cant figure out which of the officially realeased infomation I am specifically trying to avoid, well i dont think this relationship can grow much furrther. I think i have a right to be upset.
          signing off.

      • I paid attention and didn’t hear any of that. Just as well because I didn’t want too… This site has done a good job of keeping stuff like this under wraps, which was why i was surprised and disappointed to read that. I won’t be coming back here again, cause I don’t want any more of the game ruined. I can’t help but be annoyed at you Flux. Plz make it up to me by getting me a beta???? 🙂 😛

  13. Tonight all you “nee-zeggers” will learn that Blizzard is not the same company anymore since the Activision merger. You will see that even this giant has to react to the competition (-> BioWare’s SWTOR) in order to be profitable and secure the revenues that investors expect for 2012. Mark my words. ^^

  14. it doesn’t even look like a cinematic, more like a TV advertisement.
    everything is crap from the “dialogues” to the “epic female voice” in the end, and most of it wouldn’t even be acceptable in 2011 on a second-rate TV movie. i guess it’s acceptable for blizzard customers.
    the animated concept art is nice, it’s eye candy but it’s pretty much pointless.
    really hard to tell what the game will be worth with such a level of laziness and conformism in art direction…

    i remember even the W3 cinematics to be a quality waaaay above this…

  15. screw it, lets just release the full end game cinematic before release.. idk.. i dont think we will be seeing any random cinematics in the future for Diablo 3. The beta is indeed working its way towards release as it is being patched frequently. i dont think there is anything left they can really reveal publicly about diablo 3 until release date announcement/delay. *yawn* ill be waiting i guess 🙄

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