Blizzard has just issued a press release to confirm that Diablo III has indeed been hit by the delay stick.
The company stated that “despite a sterling record of always hitting its release targets, Blizzard Entertainment [has announced] that the expected launch window for Diablo III… will be moving into early 2012.”
So there you have it. Originally the intention was to release before Christmas, but it has become clear enough recently that a delay was on the cards.
But as Blizzard notes, it’s definitely better to make sure the game is ready rather than rushed.
Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, commented: “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.”
Indeed, invites for the closed beta have started rolling out this week, and Blizzard says it will use the additional time to extend the beta period.
More testers will be used than initially anticipated, so if you’ve signed up via Battle.net to be considered, your odds of getting that golden email just got a little bit better.
This delay could have proved more of a problem to those who took up the mantle and got involved in the “Diableard” challenge launched last month. The challenge being to “grow and maintain the most awe-inspiring Diableard you can, and don’t shave it off until the day Diablo III is released.”
Expect Blizzard has given participants an official reprieve “if you want to trim or otherwise manage the lower half of your face.”
The company notes: “We’d still love to see your beardly achievements, and we look forward to seeing more of your efforts as we move into 2012, but not to the detriment of your workplaces and significant others.”
In other words, if you’ve got half of last week’s breakfast and a family of birds who have moved in to nest, best reach for those trimming scissors…