Guess-timating Diablo Immortal Closed Beta
During the Activision Blizzard Q2 2021 investors call, president and chief operating officer Daniel Alegre informed that Diablo Immortal release date had been pushed to the first half of 2022. This time range can land anywhere between January 1, 2022 and June 30, 2022 (which is the lapse of time covering the first half of 2022). You can read the full transcript.
Daniel: “Recent testing reveals some exciting additional opportunities the team is going to pursue to make the title even more engaging for a wider audience. While that means the game is now planned for release in the first-half of 2022, we believe these efforts will set the title up for even greater contribution next year and beyond.”
About 20 minutes before the investors call, Blizzard Entertainment posted a Diablo Immortal developer update explaining further what they plan to do during this extended development cycle.
Guess-timating Diablo Immortal Closed Beta
Full stop. Up to those two official sources, those are the facts. Moving forward, what you will read here is conjecture based on known data.
- The Diablo Immortal internal company playtest was a test that included employees outside of the Diablo Immortal developers team — allowing employees from the World of Warcraft team, Overwatch team, Hearthstone team, etc. plus possibly employees stationed in satellite offices around the world (i.e. Durbin, Shanghai, Taiwan, Montana, etc.). This playtest started on August 24, 2020.
- The internal company playtest end date is not known, but probably lasted 3-4 weeks. I set this floating/guessed end date around September 17-24.
- Diablo Immortal technical alpha started on December 17, 2020. Several content creators (YouTube/Twitch), fansites, and press were invited to participate. This test was held in Google Play and TestFlight (iOS). I was one of the testers.
- Diablo Immortal technical alpha ended on January 5, 2020.
- Diablo Immortal closed alpha started on April 21, 2021. Blizzard invited content creators, fansites, and press to the TestFlight (iOS) and Google Play versions. Australia pre-registered players were invited to test the game.
- Diablo Immortal closed alpha ended on June 30, 2021.
With this summary of known data about past Diablo Immortal tests, we can now fool around with this data to see beyond the veil, with a calendar on hand.
CLOSED INTERNAL COMPANY PLAYTEST
Let’s say that the Diablo Immortal internal company playtest ended around September 17 (3-weeks of testing) or September 24 (4-weeks of testing).
If the playtest ended on September 17, 2020, then it took the developers approximately 91 days to read the employees’ feedback and reiterate the playable version that was given to technical alpha testers on December 17, 2020.
If the playtest ended on September 24, 2020, then it took 84 days instead.
So now we have an approximate between 84-91 days of development. Remember this number, as I will use it later when I wrap up this article.
CLOSED TECHNICAL ALPHA
The Diablo Immortal closed technical alpha started on December 17, 2020 and only included level 1-45 content up to Bilefen’s Temple of Namari. You could only play as a Barbarian, Monk, Wizard or Demon Hunter. The test lasted for almost 3 weeks, ending on January 5, 2021.
The Diablo Immortal closed alpha started on April 21, 2021. Once more content creators, fansites, and press members were invited to test the game. However, Blizzard Entertainment invited thousands of giveaway winners too to play in the TestFlight (iOS) USA server, and the Australian Google Play server.
The test included level 1-55 content up to the Frozen Tundra questline finale where Skaarn opens a portal into the Burning Hells. The portal wasn’t interactive because that’s part of the level 55-60 content that was not tested externally at that point.
Closed Alpha was tested in USA, and Australia starting April 21, 2021. South Korea and Japan started testing on May 17, 2021. China test started on July 15, 2021.
The closed technical alpha ended on January 5, 2021. Closed Alpha started on April 21, 2021.
This range of time gives us an idea of how much time passed for the developers to read through the technical alpha players feedback until they developed a version of the game that was ready for testing.
This reiteration development cycle took them 106 days.
This is an important data to extrapolate when Diablo Immortal closed beta might start.
The internal company playtest-to-technical-alpha cycle was between 84-91 days.
The technical-alpha-to-closed-alpha cycle was 106 days.
Therefore, the logical lapse of time to expect Diablo Immortal Beta should be between 84 to 106 days (give or take a few days).
So let’s do the math.
84 days after Closed Alpha ended — June 30, 2021 – September 22, 2021 (84 days)
91 days after Closed Alpha ended — June 30, 2021 – September 29, 2021 (91 days)
106 days after Closed Alpha ended — June 30, 2021 – October 14, 2021 (106 days)
Now, it is difficult to extrapolate a potential range of time for Diablo Immortal closed beta to start, but these examples between the company playtest approximate end date and tech alpha start date, and between the technical alpha end date to closed alpha start date (based on known data) are somewhat helpful to pinpoint when not to expect Beta testing and more or less when to expect Beta testing.
Of course, Blizzard Entertainment may decide to start Beta at the end of October, November, or even December. Their developer update blog clearly states they will add new content to the game. Some of that content is based on player feedback. So it wouldn’t be uncommon to have to wait beyond the 106 days cycle until all the pieces are ready for testing.
Regardless of when Beta starts, we know it is going to be within 2021. So there is only 116 days remaining until December 31. Any of those upcoming 116 days is Beta start date. We have waited nearly 3 years. Another 116 days or less will be worth the wait.