Diablo III Release Date: December 5, 2011?

Amidst all the other data-mined information that’s been excavated from the Diablo III Beta, some of the diggers found this digital software certificate. No one’s quite sure what it means, though if anyone knowledgeable in copyright law or related fields can enlighten us, feel free.

Obviously it’s some sort of copyright for Diablo III, filed by Blizzard Entertainment, and the reason it’s been bandied about lately is due to the date. As you can see, it’s valid from January 7, 2010 to December 5, 2011, and some fans have taken the expiration date to mean that Diablo III must be released by then.

I find that fairly unlikely. This is obviously some kind of legal issue, and all developers must have software certificates for their products under development, but these sorts of licenses are surely renewable. It’s not as if Blizzard didn’t have such a registration for Diablo III prior to January 2010, and they’re obviously going to register it again after that date. I think it’s just a coincidence that the date it near the end of the year, when they keep saying they want to release the game in 2011.

Also note that December 5th falls on a Monday and games are released in the US usually on a Tuesday and in Europe on a Friday. So as far as jumping to conclusions regarding a release date, I doubt this has anything to do with it but we’re just pointing it out as it’s doing the rounds.

Update: Numerous semi-expert explanations in comments and email. I’ll quote one from email:

The certificate is issued by a certificate authority (whom you, or your computer trusts) and is a way of verifying software. Chances are, without a valid certificate tied to the game it won’t be possible to play Diablo 3, much the same way Apple prevents unsigned apps to run on iOS. As for the expiration date Blizzard will renew it when the time comes. In conclusion, this is not any kind of legal document, it is rather, a way to insure you are using the intend software, unmodified.

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49 thoughts on “Diablo III Release Date: December 5, 2011?

  1. lol at all the people who thought they would fix the mediocre graphics repeatedly using the argument that it was alpha. 12/05 is plenty of time to fix graphics right? lol. 🙄
    there you have it. the shit in your plate. now eat it, and then ask for seconds. dumbasses.  😉

      • this is just one of those gamers who thinks that just because it isn’t photo realistic the graphics suck.   A lot of gamers I know stopped giving a shit about “awesome” graphics.  So many times a game would have awesome graphics but the game sucked.  Why do you think the Wii became so popular?  It forced devs to go the KISS method.   I’ll take a great game any day over good graphics.  (that said, the graphics in this game look quite excellent to me)

    • yes, blizzard has secretly built a time machine and infact went back in time to create the mayan calendar, and on december 5th they will announce to the world that 2012 is a hoax and the world is in fact *surprize* not going to end :O

  2. nah, i guess its just a standard certificate for 2 years. the missing days are maybe just for christmas holidays or what ever^^

  3. Maybe someone can do some research about this information during the Diablo 2 beta? Did the D2 beta have a certificate like this? Did it have an expiration date? Was the expiration date the release date?

  4. They’ll probably renew that certificate, regardless of when the game comes out. It’s odd to me that it wasn’t issued for exactly a year or two, but I wouldn’t take that as any sign that that’s when the Beta is due to finish. Everyone wanting to exchange data securely with the public NEEDS a certificate to do so. That’s the nature of SSL/TLS and the state of internet security. And those certificates expire regularly and need to be re-issued. This one just happens to expire toward the end of the year. Maybe they thought they’d be done with that server by then, but I doubt it. They really don’t have any reason to have that cert expire exactly when they plan to end the beta and/or roll out the finished product. Some overlap is definitely prudent.

    • That’s pretty much it. This has nothing to do with release dates, rather technical and legal issues. Also, certificates are not always issued for specific time periods (exactly a year or two) – a GoDaddy certificate I just checked lasts from 3/10/11 – 10/12/11. Nevertheless, a potato can dream…

      • Wonder why that is (the odd certificate intervals)? I am also certain this means nothing significant in any way, but I do think it’s weird that it was issued for a year and 11 months-ish, instead of a more standard time frame.

  5. i doubt this is a release date. i mean, it must’ve been filed before or during january 2010, and knowing blizzard, they wouldn’t have a release date by that time…

    • +1
      Plus it’s probably just a digital signature or something like that which happens to have an expiration date…

  6. If their predicted release date is December, then January is the earliest the game can come out. Did I mention Blizzard is slow?

  7. It’s just a code signing certificate used to verify the authenticity of the compiled code.  For purposes of verifying anything related to release dates this one should go into the trash.  They will renew the certificate in their build environment when it expires and we’ll see a new certificate show up in future build releases.

  8. That is NOT the release date.
    Well, totally Off-topic  but please be careful with spoilers guys. SC2 was spoiled by incgamers when they tossed a pic from the ending cinematic in there, just cuz it was being heavily discussed in the forums… BUT i did not knew yet..

  9. This certificate is said for signing purpose so it is to ensure the executable is truly issued from blizzard and not a virus. Unless the certificate is renewed, one could assume the beta will end before the 5th of December. However, a certificate is not linked to copyright or legal issue except assurance that the program is from Blizzard. If a counterfeit is made, blizzard can ask for $ from the certificate issuer.

  10. I saw certificate on some german site that has a date 06-12-2011 (European format of data). So certainly not all of them are the same date.

  11. You just don’t call your article “Release Date Dec 5 2011” on a D3 anticipation site if it’s just speculation. You just don’t.

    • Suggestion for title then please 🙂 The ? is a huge clue to why it is not confirmed or anything like that. I guess people don’t read punctuation these days 🙁

      • Yeah but the question mark is at the end of the title. So you see release date december 5 before you see the ? 😛 Im just saying…..

      • I suggest “Certificate with dates in it has nothing to do with release dates” and then do some brief research (or interview someone who knows, whatever) and write an informed article instead of repeating what other uninformed people are guessing at.

  12. I am very versed on certificates and public Certificate Authorities.  Typically, you can purchase certificates in 1 year increments.  I’m seeing the certificate issued as 1/7, and then expiring 12/5, 1 mo. & 2 days less than the standard authentication.  This is not impossible, but not a \default\ either.  This certificate was purchased this way intentionally.  (also, Thawte is a premier CA, their certs cost a lot of $$ compared to a lot of other vendors) As speculated for some time now, early December release is the latest that DIII can release in the 2011 calendar year due to Blizzard shutdown over the holiday season.  This caters significantly to that theory.

    • maybe they needed to change some information (typos?) in the certificate that was issued 1 mo. and 2 days ago, so they had it modified and reissued without purchasing a new certificate

  13. the dates mean nothing, this kind of certificate is just a digital signature that the program uses to \talk\ to the user and the server to negotiate how to encrypt data and handling stuff like authentication during the sending and recieving of packets.

  14. So, beta ends at 5/12/2011 (proper, european date format), and game is released 6/12/2011 (or 13/12/2011).
    Ha! I solved it !

  15. Earlier this year I’ve said: Diablo 3 will be released on December 6, 2011. I still stand by this estimation. ^^

  16. That’s not even a Tuesday. If there’s one thing we know about the D3 release day it’s that it’ll be on a Tuesday.

  17. wait, why are you guys thinking that blizz is going to have this beta running for anything more than a month after closed public starts?
    unless they really are just stalling as long as ****ing possible

    • They have some pretty big problems to work out, and they don’t even have public games or the auction house enabled yet.

    • I think maybe 1-2 months of this upcoming Closed Beta.  But then they have to deploy and configure multiples of the hardware they validated with that beta, worldwide.  

      After that, it’s my **opinion** they will start a new Beta to make sure the launch-day hardware is good to go.  So, for that stage they would give out tons of beta keys, and beta keys for pre-orders.  (Again, this is my opinion based on guesswork!) 

      All the while, they are probably going to be repeating Internal test & fix cycles for all the content not in the public Betas.  We don’t really even have an idea of where that process is at right now.

      So, who knows when it’ll hit the shelves.

  18. Even without understanding much of what the certificate is, or why it might have certain dates, you can’t look at one date without reconciling it against the other.

    So, we’ve got Dec. 5, 2011 as the end date, but January 7th, 2010 as the start?  Thats nearly 2 years ago.  Why is one date being given significance and not the other? 

    Well, here is a bit of information about certificates: THAT certificate was issued on Jan. 7th, 2010.  (You don’t pay $$ to have certificates made to be valid for the past.)  

    Given that Blizzard’s motto is “when it’s done” and consistently misses its own internal milestones (for good reasons, IMO), it’s absurd to think that Blizzard had any any concrete idea about when Diablo 3’s beta would end almost two years ago, let alone when it might hit the shelves.

  19. I install certs regularly on load balancers that handle SSL terminations before sending traffic to backend servers.

    A cert basically provides a way to validate the site you’re connected to is truly that site and not a fake.   The expiration date doesn’t really reveal anything.  I know from experience if a company has multiple sites that use their own certs (vs using a wildcard) they’ll try to put them on the same billing cycle for easier management.  

    Now, if someone really wanted to compare, go to all of blizzards SSL/HTTPS sites and see what their cert expiration date is.  Though, even if Diablo III’s cert expiriation date is different it still doesn’t really reveal anything.

  20. From the perspective of the date stamp, unless explicitly specified, the date would default to be 1 year.  For example, of the 10 certificates I issued today, they all showed validity dates of 9/9/2011 – 9/9/2012.  While the date technically means that the certificate is only good through a certain time, the fact that it is not a default 1 year certificate does in fact seem to mean something.  With certificates, there are no typo’s or errors, as that would undermine the reputation of the cert, and the cert issuer (A cert like this can run $600).  I’m not able to see where this cert is or where it is from, but it is certain that whatever it is authenticating (possibly a SSL connection for login info to beta servers) that they DON’T want you to be able to do it after 12/5/2011.

  21. Regardless of all the certificate stuff … the said they will try to lunch the game in 2011 … and if they do it will certainly be in December … also .. Closed Beta will probably start near the end of September and beginning of October (seems reasonable to me) .. and remember Blizzcon is upcoming in October 21-22 .. and i’m sure we will get D3 release date announced then and they will have November and December to arrange for the game release and iron all the bugs out (assuming a release date at the end of December).

    It all makes sense.

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