Blizzard Entertainment has promised that the release date for Diablo III will come in the "near future," and it appears as if sacrifices must be made to make that happen. Today, game director Jay Wilson confirmed on the game's website that Diablo III will ship without its player-versus-player multiplayer arena component.
"As we're counting down the days until we're ready to announce a release date for Diablo III, we've come to realize that the PVP game and systems aren't yet living up to our standards," Wilson said. "Today, we wanted to let you know that we've made the difficult decision to hold back the PVP Arena system and release it in a patch following the game's launch."
"After a lot of consideration and discussion, we ultimately felt that delaying the whole game purely for PVP would just be punishing to everyone who's waiting to enjoy the campaign and core solo/co-op content, all of which is just about complete," he continued.
Wilson did not indicate how long Diablo III will be available without its PVP multiplayer component. However, he did say that when it does arrive via downloadable patch, it will include "multiple arena maps with themed locations and layouts, PVP-centric achievements, and a matchmaking system," as well as a "personal progression system."
Wilson also emphasized that Blizzard will be focusing its post-launch efforts on finishing the multiplayer element of the game.