The holiday issue of PCGamer (US) featured a ‘Games of 2012’ article which appeared online in December. A scan of the hard copy of the issue appeared via Likes2PaintShit on reddit. At the bottom of the piece it has the release date down as March 2012. (I didn’t annotate it with the red marker). Yes, before you caw that Blizzard never give release dates to outsiders first, I’m aware of that, so keep your knickers on. Unlike retailers who are often that specific to help secure pre-orders magazines usually put TBC (to be confirmed) so it seemed strange they went specific there.
It’s true that PR always maintain that this sort of info is never divulged and that also applies to game announcements but what PR want and what happens when people get chatting can be two different things as we know only too well on this news page. So perhaps when pushed on the ‘early 2012′ release announcement one person PCGamer had access to said something along the lines of “yeah, well, probably about March but you can’t print that, we’re not being specific, just go with early 2012’. Or, perhaps PCGamer thought that on this occasion they’d do away with the TBC (or even the official ‘early 2012) and go out on a limb for once with an actual made up release date.
The scan has been archived in the magazine scan gallery.