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Diablo III begins public beta testing

We knew that beta testing was going on, and there wasn’t a thing we could do about it. It has been 11 years since the last Diablo game, and the scrutiny on the upcoming sequel has been fierce. So when rumors began that Blizzard was planning a beta test, fans rejoiced. When it was announced that the beta was officially on the way, and would debut sometime between June and September, fans rejoiced harder. Then when a private beta for employees and their friends/families was announced, the rejoicing became a bit more subdued. “Meh” seems like a good word for it.

But that is all in the past, and Blizzard has begun sending out invites the beta. It is still a closed beta, and only those that have actively signed up have a shot at an invite. If you are one of the lucky ones, the key will be sent through Battle.net to your email.

But even if you don’t receive an invite, it is good news for fans of the game. There is still no official release date, or month, or quarter, or release year for that matter, but this is a good step towards the retail release of the game.

Many rumors have suggested that Diablo III would be out in time for Christmas, but there has been no confirmation of that. With BlizzCon scheduled for later next month, it would make sense to announce it then–assuming that the beta runs smoothly. In other words, the stars may be aligning for a December 2011 Diablo III release.

One potential snag is that Blizzard seems to have plans to bring the game to consoles as well. If so, that could delay the release further. Of course, that is always assuming that the PC and console versions will release simultaneously, and there really is no reason the think they will.

So for now, here’s hoping that the beta runs well. If not, the game could be pushed back until next year. Or the year after. Or the year after that….