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    Things are hotting up in the world of ARPGs. We have definitive date now for Diablo 3 of 15 May, and as many of you know, there are two other kids on the block vying for your attention. At PAX East today, Max Schaefer revealed that although there is no release date set for Torchlight 2, they are looking to get the game out shortly after Diablo 3’s release, and ideally one month after.

    Similarly, the guys at Grinding Gear Games have been ramping things up with Path of Exile. Just today they launched their special supporter’s scheme where you can aid the game’s development by buying pre-purchase credit and bagging a load of goodies depending on how much you buy in for. The lowest bracket of $10 gets you beta access now.

    The approach GGG is taking with POE is an interesting one, it almost feels like a Kickstarter project where you can support the game in advance of release helping the small studio improve the game and get it into full open Beta testing and ultimately release. During last weekend’s open beta test, 46,911 players joined the POE servers which is a good number of players for a weekend considering how many Beta keys are already out there.

    Blizzard’s approach has been somewhat different when it comes to grabbing gamer’s attention by making the Beta feel almost exclusive to a select few, and at the same time ignoring a lot of their core fanbase who have pre-ordered the game and opted to run competitions to win keys on the more general gaming websites. With the recent addition of a whopping 8 Beta keys, you have to wonder what they are thinking when it comes to promoting the game. I still think all pre-orders should have received Beta access as a given.

    According to media agency sources, the budget that has been set aside for Diablo 3 online advertising is not exactly massive either considering the interest in the title, which makes you wonder if they are relying on WoW players with an annual pass to make up the numbers?

    Once thing’s for sure, Diablo 3 will have every ARPG fan dashing out for a copy and it’s looking highly polished which is great news, but as all Diablo 2 players know, it’s all about the long game. We are yet to see how that will play out for any of these new titles.

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