If it seems like you’ve been waiting forever for Diablo III… you have! As Risingred documents in this forum thread, the time between Diablo III’s announcement and release, and the time between the start and finish of the Diablo III beta are both the longest in the history of Blizzard Entertainment.
Diablo II: Beta started 3.4.2000 and ran until 29.6.2000
LoD: Beta started 3.5.2001 and ran until 29.6.2001
SC2: Beta began 17.2.2010, and ran until about a week to its release, which was 27.7.2010
WoW: Beta began 19.3.2004, and ran right up until release on 23.11.2004
D3: Beta began (publicly) 20.9.2011 and will run until 1.5.2012
Diablo III has also beaten every other Blizzard game from days of announcement to opening of the beta by about 170 days, and it will also be Blizzard’s longest public development.
And this doesn’t even include the fact that D3 was announced a whopping seven years after D2X’s release. Consider this; World of Warcraft was released in North America in late 2004, and the rest of the world in early 2005. (Except for parts of China, where it’s still pending
sufficient bribes governmental approval for release.) You know all those new gamers who think they’ve been playing WoW for their entire lives? That’s not even as long as we waited between D2’s release and D3’s announcement!
Thankfully, now that the end is in sight, we can look back and laaaaaaaauuuuuuuugh.