Blizzard Entertainment revealed today that it has pushed the release of its highly anticipated RPG Diablo III
back, and will now release the game in early 2012.
The company noted that, while it has "a sterling record of always hitting its release targets," it was necessary to prolong the time until launch as a means of making sure the title is fully ready.
It will use the additional months to extend the closed beta, which began earlier this week
, noting that more testers will be added than was originally projected.
Additional testing phases are also planned between now and the launch next year.
Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard, stated, "With every game we make, the temptation is always very strong to launch as soon as possible."
"However, we didn't put so many years of work into Diablo III
to release a game that was almost ready. The beta test is going very well, and we look forward to making the most of the extra time we're taking to deliver an experience that lives up to our vision for the game and the expectations of our players."
Although Blizzard noted that it was pushing the release back, a 2011 release date was never actually confirmed at any point. Rather, the FAQs section on the Diablo III
website notes, "It's too early to estimate Diablo III
's release date. As with all Blizzard Entertainment games, our goal is to create a game that is as fun, balanced, and polished as possible."
Blizzard announced earlier this year
that the auction house for Diablo III
will be driven by real money, and that the game will require a persistent internet connection.