Yes, You’ll Be Able to Play Diablo III This Summer

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Khazras and dune threshers and fallen ones, oh my, but you won’t need a pair of ruby slippers or a scruffy black terrier to make action-RPG Diablo III happen this year—it sounds like Blizzard’s planning to unlock its demon-butchering bonanza sometime this summer.

During a recent earnings call, Activision-Blizzard revealed the game is already in “companywide internal testing,” and that it’s planning a third-quarter external beta, sometime “late summer.” So—this is me guesstimating here—probably in the August-September timeframe, then.

It’ll be the usual beta-fest, of course, meaning bugs and probably fickle multiplayer servers, but what do you care? It’s Diablo III, right?

The leaked Blizzard timeline from December last year (dated April 2010) put Diablo III’s goal-launch in fourth quarter 2011. That’s still Blizzard’s story, and they hope to stick to it, revealing during an earnings call presentation that they’re “driving hard” to ship Diablo III by the holidays.

Pressure’s on: the first StarCraft II expansion, “Heart of the Swarm,” was originally listed as a late 2011 release, but now rumored to ship in the first half of 2012, leaving Blizzard’s 2011 holiday basket empty if Diablo III slips.

(via USA Today)