Last week we got the news that Amazon.de mailed all of their Diablo III pre-order customers to say that the publisher had told them it would not make the first quarter of 2012 release date window. This news did not go over well, as the 98, mostly-angry, comments on the news item testify to.

    Bashiok subsequently said what Blizzard CMs always say, that they do not give retailers advance notice of their release dates. I thought we all knew that by now, after 3+ years of retailers posting their guesses at the D3 release date, but clearly the retailers aren’t going to stop doing it anytime soon.

    I bring this up again since while searching Diablo III news today, I found this item, from a site called Stick Skills.

    Target has listed Diablo III for a release date of February 7th, 2012, and it actually falls on a Tuesday. Pretend you’ve never purchased a video game in your entire life, and you’ll be happy to know that the majority of video games have released on a Tuesday. While Blizzard hasn’t made anything official just yet, the release date seems highly likely.

    This sort of thing is why this issue will never die. Because people who don’t follow Blizzard’s glacial dev pace see a Diablo 3 release date on some retailer and think, “Well it must be legit, it’s on the Internet!” Maybe the Stick Skills writer knows better and just threw up the item to get some hits and activity, *cough* but whatever his motives, or those of the online retailers, these dates keep getting posted, and they matter in as far as people believe them.

    On that note, here are some more recent release dates, from various online retailers. The hell of it is, they’ll eventually be right, if only on the “stopped clock twice a day” principle.

    • Best Buy: February 1, 2012
    • Target.com: February 7, 2012
    • Wal-Mart: February 7, 2012
    • Poland World: April 2012

    You might also enjoy our Release Date gallery, which is full of years worth of guess fails, or the DiabloWiki article on DiabloWikirelease dates that has more of the same.

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