HELL FREEZES OVER — DIABLO III TO SHIP IN EARLY 2012

Diablo III

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Blizzard Entertainment extends beta test for hotly anticipated action role-playing game

IRVINE, Calif. Despite a sterling record of always hitting its release targets, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that the expected launch window for Diablo® III, the next title in the company’s critically acclaimed series of action role-playing games, will be moving into early 2012.

“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,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “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. Next year is going to be an incredibly busy one for Blizzard, and we hope an incredibly fun one for Blizzard gamers.”

Blizzard will use the additional time to extend the Diablo III closed beta test, which began September 20, potentially adding more testers than initially projected. Players who have an active Battle.net® account with any Blizzard game attached to it should visit Battle.net account management to opt in for a chance to participate in the beta test. Additional testing phases, as well as further details regarding the launch plans for the game, will be announced on the company’s Diablo III community website: www.Diablo3.com.

Blizzard Entertainment Begins Closed Beta Test for Diablo III !

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IRVINE, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment announced today that the closed beta test for Diablo® III, its highly anticipated sequel to the best-selling Diablo action role-playing game series, has begun. The company has started issuing the first wave of invitations to participate in the testing process and is planning to add more participants over the course of the beta test. While enjoying an early look at the game, beta testers will provide valuable feedback as they help Blizzard Entertainment test server stability and hardware.

In the Diablo III closed beta test, participants will be able to fight their way through part of Act I as any of the five hero classes – barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk, and demon hunter – and go head-to-skull against the Skeleton King, taking him on alone or playing cooperatively with other adventurers. They’ll also get to meet up with some of the artisans, followers, and other key characters from Sanctuary, and try out the game’s skill and crafting systems.

“This closed beta test is an important milestone for us as we enter the final stages of development on Diablo III,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Our goal is to create the best action role-playing game experience to date, building on everything we’ve learned since the release of Diablo II and incorporating the powerful features of the new  Battle.net® platform. We hope players enjoy participating in the beta test and we look forward to hearing their feedback.”

Diablo III will continue the epic Diablo storyline, with players playing their role in the ongoing struggle to save the world of Sanctuary from the corrupting forces of the Burning Hells. Diablo III will also be the definitive action role-playing game, with players adventuring through rich and varied settings, engaging in combat with hordes of monsters and challenging bosses, growing in experience and ability, and acquiring items of incredible power. As the sequel to Diablo II, the game will feature the easy-to-use interface, fast-paced action, and visceral gameplay that Diablo players have come to expect and enjoy. Designed from the ground up to leverage the power of  Battle.net, Diablo III will also provide gamers with industry-leading matchmaking and communication tools; convenient character- and inventory-management options; and the Diablo III auction house, which will support a robust player-driven economy.

Diablo III will be localized and released in multiple languages; however, the beta will be English-only. Release timing and region-specific details such as pricing and supported languages will be announced at a later date. For more information on Diablo III, please visit the official website at  http://us.blizzard.com/diablo3/. To set up a  Battle.net account and sign up for a chance to participate in the Diablo III beta test, please visit the official  Battle.net website at http://www.battle.net.