In great news for the European Diablo community, we’ve got official word that Diablo III will be present, with a playable demo, at this year’s Gamescom convention. News comes from Blizzard’s Polish Battle.net portal, and thanks to Mycota and Naibchris for the tip and translation. Here’s the beef:

    The world’s largest gaming convention will be held this year in Cologne, Germany, from 18 to 21 August, and Blizzard Entertainment’s massively mark its presence there. We have prepared for you, not just exhibition matches, live raids, competitions and other attractions, but also three great games, in which every visitor will be able to play.

    Gamescom present at this year’s Diablo III, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, and for the first time in a playable version in Europe, Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm. Do not miss this unique opportunity to personally try out these three games, win prizes and cheer professional players in StarCraft II, and the teams fighting in the arena of World of Warcraft. Visit us in hall 6.1 (position B21 and C30). More information is available on the official site!

    We already knew that SC2 and WoW would be there, but this is the first confirmation of D3. I’ve edited the quote since there was a mistranslation error. The “never before in Europe” remark referred to the SC2 expansion demo, not Diablo III.

    Diablo III was playable at Gamescom 2009 with the Act 2 desert demo and the Monk (enabled the last day of the show once he’d been revealed at Blizzcon), and the 2009 demo returned to Gamescom in 2010, since the event was 2 months before Blizzcon and Blizzard didn’t debut the new dungeons/Arena/ and Demon Hunter until then.

    I know we see a lot of site traffic from Germany and other parts of Europe. Are you guys making travel plans for Cologne in August?

    Update: Numerous comments are relating this to the beta test starting, though I don’t see the connection. The beta could start tomorrow and they’d still have a playable demo at Gamescom and then 2 months later at Blizzcon. And we know that Blizzard is going to show off the beta build at Bliz Irvine later this month during a press event.

    As for the playable demo, I can’t imagine Blizzard simply presenting the raw beta client at Gamescom or Blizzcon. Players will start off with brand new characters in the beta test, and spend hours and days building them up. This isn’t an option in a show demo where you’ve got 15 or 20m to have fun. Blizzard will surely create a custom build for the show demo, with pre-made characters to allow players to leap right into the action and start using skills immediately.

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