That’s a question sure to be on the minds of many gamers. The release date of Diablo 3 is surely to be in 2012 but will Blizzard announce a date to investors during the February 9th Activision Blizzard Q4 2011 conference call? To find out, let’s step back a moment and look at what type of information the previous conference calls released to investors, the public and eager gamers.
Q1 2011 Conference Call – Announcement that Diablo 3 had begun company wide internal testing and while the game has no official release date, they are “driving hard” for a 2011 release; a year which has now come and gone.
Q2 2011 Conference Call – Announcement of an “innovative auction house model” which will include real money trade that allows players to buy and sell items for cash. In this conference call it was stated that as of yet there is still no official release date but unlike the previous investor update, Blizzard no longer made any mention of a 2011 release schedule.
Q3 2011 Conference Call – This last review mentioned that Diablo “had received strong critical and player response at Blizzcon” and that the testing of the real money system would begin soon. Again, no mention of a release date.
If we step back even further and look at the Activision Blizzard conference calls during Starcraft 2′s development, we find no mention of a release date at all. They do refer to the testing phase and the hype for this much awaited sequel but we are only provided information about the success of the release after the fact. Given the previous conference calls were quite reserved, it’s highly unlikely we will hear anything about the release date of Diablo 3 and only about the success of the launch in a future call.
Some players have suggested that Diablo 3 will be pushed back to the Q4 2012 period, citing that as this is the Christmas period, sales will be higher. This is unlikely given Blizzard stand to make a massive profit in the long run from their fees associated with the RMAH. It’s also important to note that the release date of previous Blizzard games have occurred throughout the year and are as follows:
- Diablo 1 – December 31st, 1996
- Diablo 2 – June 29th 2000
- Starcraft 1 – March 31st, 1998
- Starcraft 2 – July 27th 2010
- WoW – November 23rd, 2004
Only the Diablo 1 and World of Warcraft release dates were during the Christmas period. That’s a good indicator that we’re going to see Diablo 3 sooner than later but the best we can expect from the Activision Blizzard conference call on February 9th is that the launch of Diablo 3 is still on track for a Q1 release.
We will have a wrap up of the call the moment it’s available. In the meantime, why not stop by our forums to be in the running for a free copy of Diablo 3 upon release!