Friday, March 16, 2012

Diablo III finally gets a release date: you can go to Hell on May 15

Blizzard is telling gamers they can go to hell, on May 15, at least. That's the day the long-awaited latest installment in the hit action role-playing video game series will finally hit retail.

Indeed Diablo III has a release date, but it's still two months off. What's two months, though, after nearly four years. The game was first announced on June 28, 2008 at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Paris, France.

Speaking strictly of the long wait, “The end is nigh!” wrote publishers / developer Blizzard Entertainment in a press release. "Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that Diablo® III, the next chapter in its critically acclaimed action role-playing game series, will be unleashed from the Burning Hells on May 15."

Retailers across the U.S., Canada, Europe, South Korea (naturally), Southeast Asia, Australia, New New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau will have the game available, although some, like Amazon.com, have been pre-selling the game for over a year.

Meanwhile, those living in the aforementioned regions as well as Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Brazil, can buy Diablo III digitally NOW via the company’s Battle.net website. Those in the listed Latin American countries and Russia will be able to get a retail copy on June 7 (Russia will get its first chance at digital sales on the same day).

Those who purchase a digital version will be able to download an encrypted version of the game that will be unlocked upon release on May 15. That could mean hours more gameplay as opposed to waiting for FedEx or UPS, unless you really want a boxed edition, or the Collector's Edition.

In addition to the English version, Diablo III has been fully localized into Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, European Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian, Korean, and Traditional Chinese.

We doubt that's what took them so long, as Blizzard has recently announcing it was tearing out some features, and was planning to add them back later via a patch, so that the game could hit retail sooner.

Fans may not be happy with another two month wait, but as Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime in the press release said, “After many years of hard work by our development team and months of beta testing by hundreds of thousands of dedicated players around the world, we’re now in the homestretch. We look forward to putting the final polish on Diablo III over the next two months and delivering the ultimate action-RPG experience to gamers worldwide starting on May 15.”

In addition to the standard $60 version, Blizzard is offering a collector's edition: An “alabaster-white” boxed version, with a $100 price tag. Consumers will get the game, a behind-the scenes Blu-ray/DVD, the Diablo III soundtrack, a 208-page art book and a 4GB USB "soulstone" that carries copies of Diablo II, its expansion Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, and other items.



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