Diablo III releasing 'early 2012'

Blizzard confirms Diablo 3 will miss its projected 2011 release date; promises "additional testing phases," extended beta.

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Just three days ago, Blizzard Entertainment brought good news to Diablo III fans in the form of the launch of the closed beta for the action role-playing game. Now, the California-based developer has some less-than-wonderful information to share: Diablo III will not ship in 2011, as had been previously suggested. Instead, the game is now scheduled to find its way to stores in "early 2012," according to Blizzard.

Gamers will have to wait a little longer than hoped to get their Demon Hunter on.
Gamers will have to wait a little longer than hoped to get their Demon Hunter on.

Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime explained that the studio was "hopeful" that the game would ship in 2011, but ultimately that launch window became impossible to meet. "This week we pulled together people from all of the teams involved with the game to decide whether we felt it would be ready before the end of December, and we grudgingly came to the conclusion that it would not," he explained.

According to Morhaime, the extra time will afford Blizzard the opportunity to add "further polish to a few different elements of the game" and open the beta to more users than was originally planned. Gamers interested in opting in to the beta for Diablo III can visit Battle.net.

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 Diablo III, take a look at the GameSpot Gameplay Session showcasing the content currently on show in the closed beta below.

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