Blizzard president Michael Morhaime is "pleased to report" the developer has begun internal testing of the upcoming dungeon crawler; external testing is targeted for the third quarter ahead of a possible late 2011 launch.
In a Gamasutra-attended conference call, Morhaime said "I am pleased to report that we began internal company-wide testing last week. The game is looking great, and we are currently targeting a Q3 launch for external beta testing."
However, Morhaime did not nail down the full launch of the game just yet -- though he did offer hope that if all goes well it will be out this calendar year.
"The development team is working hard to try to launch Diablo III this year," he said, "but I want to be clear that we do not have an official release date or window yet. As always we will not comprimise the quality of the game in order to hit a window."
During the call, Activision Blizzard CFO Thomas Tippl explained that if Diablo III does not launch in 2011, the Blizzard division will launch two games in 2012.