Our 2009 year in review continues, as we reflect upon how far Diablo 3 has come since that fateful day back in mid-2008 (And try not to dwell onit has yet to go.) We linked to our older 2008 reviews in yesterday’s January 2009 coverage, so click back if you missed those, or read on to relive February 2009 in all its regurgitated glory.
The most amusing news of the month came on the 5th, when Blizzard announced that they were too big and too important to bother attending the reborn E3 convention. I liked that they just blew off the formerly-dominant industry event. I also liked that this meant I didn’t have to travel to LA in June, because LA is hell.
In more relevant news, a fan discovered that a previously-aired made-for-TV movie called Ba?al the Storm God had blatantly ripped off the Diablo II:Lord of Destruction box art. The low budget and lower prestige movie had already aired by the time anyone noticed this, and it’s not known if Blizzard’s lawyers were set loose upon the hapless production, retroactively.
The middle of the month showed once again why it’s never a wise choice to project anything related to Blizzard game release dates. (A lesson you’d think we’d have learned by now.) The failing effort this time was spurred by a pair of recent interviews, in which Blizzard bigwigs stated that Starcraft 2 was coming out in 2009, and that the company was now committed to one “front line” release per year. Since “front line” seemed to mean a new game, not just an expansion pack, that seemed to mean that Diablo 3 was slotted for 2010. Right? Not so much… Reasoning that seemed logical in mid-February looks ludicrous ten months later, as we now know that SC2 was delayed past 2009, that Blizzard includes expansion packs in their “front line” terminology, and that Diablo 3 is not part of Blizzard’s 2010 pipeline. Other than that, those February predictions worked out pretty well!
On February 14th Bashiok made a forum post that addressed questions about all the areas so far seen in Diablo 3 concept art. It’s just art, he said, and while it was necessary to draw it to flesh out the world, not every location will make it into Diablo 3. They can’t put everything into the game or it would never be finished and besides, they’ve got to save some stuff for expansions.
The 19th brought a fun development, when NerdyShirts.com started selling t-shirts that were reproductions of the Blizzard employee-only, happy clouds and rainbows shirts first seen at Blizzcon 2008. They must have received a rush of orders thanks to the publicity, since they quickly added a special discount code for Diii.net readers. Also thanks to the publicity, Blizzard’s lawyers got in touch, and the shirts are no longer available. Collector’s editions indeed!
The 23rd brought one of those cool little tidbits that pop up from time to time, and by accident turn out to be more interesting than major previews and official releases. A short video report from Blizzcon by the previously-unknown Girls Entertainment Network featured some talk about Diablo III, and then video of the entire introductory dialogue between the Female Witch Doctor and Captain Rumfeld in D3’s New Tristram encampment. This was the first time anyone who didn’t make it to Blizzcon had heard a chunk of D3 character dialogue, all of which was highly flavorful and deserving of a wider audience.
The 26th brought another cool Bestiary update, as the Unburied was revealed. (It had been seen in gameplay movies and battled at Blizzcon, but wasn’t yet named.) Yes, you read this right. At one point in early 2009, the official D3 site was receiving regular content updates. Perhaps early 2010 will bring a return of those appetite-whetting delights?
- All of February 2009’s interviews and major media.
- All February 2009’s news headlines.