In keeping with Blizzard Entertainment's traditionally noncommittal approach to release dates, Diablo III will be released when the developer decides it's done. However, the studio is making progress toward that end, as today it announced the launch of the Diablo III closed beta test.
Those fortunate enough to score an invite to the beta will be given access to the game's first act and all five hero classes. Players will take their avatars up against the Skeleton King and his forces, either alone or with each other's assistance. The beta test will also include key characters from the game and a look at the game's character development in the form of skill and crafting systems.
The beta only comes in English, but the final version of Diablo III will launch in multiple languages. Exactly which languages those are won't be revealed until a later date. Players can sign up for a possible invite to the beta test at Blizzard's Battle.net website. The first wave of invitations is being sent out now, but Blizzard has said it will expand the number of included testers in the future.
Diablo III is the first title in the series since 2001's Diablo II: Lord of Destruction expansion and will add a variety of new features, character classes, and a new auction house system designed as "a new way for the company to pull revenues from the game."
For more on the game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Diablo III.