Diablo 3's existence confirmed?

Source: The aptly named Blizzard Entertainment fan site Blizzplanet.com. What we heard: For years, rumors have bounced around that Blizzard is secretly developing a third installment in its groundbreaking Diablo role-playing series. Just this past February, a flurry of speculation followed the...

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Source: The aptly named Blizzard Entertainment fan site Blizzplanet.com.

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What we heard: For years, rumors have bounced around that Blizzard is secretly developing a third installment in its groundbreaking Diablo role-playing series. Just this past February, a flurry of speculation followed the posting of several job listings for leads to join "the team behind Diablo I and II" for "an unannounced PC project."

Now, the rumor forge is heating up again, thanks to an interview with Richard A. Knaak, author of three Diablo-based books--Diablo: Legacy of Blood (2001), Diablo: The Kingdom of Shadow (2002), and Diablo: Moon of the Spider (2006). Knaak has also written novels based on Warcraft and the Dungeon & Dragons Dragonlance spin-off. He is currently penning a series of novels featuring the classic fantasy character--and future massively multiplayer online role-playing game hero--Conan the Barbarian.

To promote his forthcoming Diablo book, Diablo: The Sin War: Book One: Birthright, Knaak spoke with Blizzplanet.com and took questions from its readers. However, the biggest bomb came from a site staffer going by the handle "Medievaldragon," who casually asked if his latest book--the first of a trilogy--would "impact in the storyline of Diablo 3 the game."

Knaak responded candidly, saying, "The ramifications here will be used for any future project...and I ain't writing for a dead game.

.
." (Emoticon in the original.) Later, when asked by a reader about Diablo, he repeated his loaded words. "I am not writing for a dead world...but a world with dead," said Knaak, adding, "'Nuff said!

The official story: As it has in the past, Blizzard danced around any inquires about the status--or existence--of Diablo 3. "We love the Diablo universe and are definitely interested in returning to it at some point in the future," a rep told GameSpot. "However, at this time, we're wholly focused on completing the upcoming expansion for World of Warcraft."

Bogus or not bogus?: Not bogus that someday there will be a new Diablo game. But with the WOW expansion being delayed until 2007, it appears that Blizzard has its hands full at the moment.

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