A few weeks ago, Eldorian installed our new vBulletin forums for Blizzplanet old-time visitors, and the new ones that stuck around after the Diablo III beta key fansite giveaways. I’m glad to see this new community of minds and hearts coming together like in every other fellow fansite.

Browsing through the forums, a member aptly named “doubt” submitted his own hypothesis concerning when Blizzard Entertainment might announce officially the release date of Diablo III. To tell you the truth his rumor has a very nice vibe to it.

      doubt: “I am herby willing to wager 1 reputation point that:

      ‘On March 6th-10th, 2012. In Hanover, Germany. During CeBit, where Blizzard will be present giving EU Beta Keys out for Diablo III, and overwatching the $75, 000 grand prize for Starcraft 2’s Intel Exterem Masters championship…. that Blizzard will also GIVE OFFICIAL ANNOUNCMENT ON D3’s RELEASE DATE’

      I’m willing to wager that the realease date will be given publically on this day.”

Might this be possible? Let’s go back in time.

Why Yes

It’s no secret that Blizzard Entertainment loves to make huge announcements at international game or technology conventions. Here are a few examples:

  • Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos official announcement — EUROPEAN COMPUTER TRADE SHOW, September 5, 1999

  • StarCraft: Ghost official announcement — TOKYO GAME SHOW, September 20, 2002

  • StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty official announcement – BLIZZARD WORLDWIDE INVITATIONALS (SEOUL), May 19, 2007

  • Diablo III announcement — BLIZZARD WORLDWIDE INVITATIONALS (PARIS), June 28, 2008

  • The World of Warcraft expansions have been announced at BlizzCon

Why Not

The other side of the coin in terms of Blizzard games’ history is that when a video game goes Gold (Release Date) the official announcements are made via press release without a convention event.

  • Diablo II goes Gold — JUNE 7, 2000

  • Diablo II: Lord of Destruction goes Gold — JUNE 21, 2001

  • Warcraft: Reign of Chaos goes Gold — JUNE 13, 2002

  • Warcraft III: Frozen Throne goes Gold — MAY 29, 2003

  • World of Warcraft goes Gold — NOVEMBER 4, 2004

  • World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade goes Gold – NOVEMBER 9, 2006

  • World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King goes Gold – SEPTEMBER 15th, 2008

  • World of Warcraft: Cataclysm goes Gold — OCTOBER 4, 2010

It’d be a bit far-fetched to think Blizzard Entertainment could announce the official release date of Diablo III at CeBIT, but the press release might be available on Blizzard.com around March 6-10th. It’s a possibility. The worldwide press will be at CeBIT. It wouldn’t hurt at all to steal the thunder.

Mike Morhaime revealed (on February 9, 2012) at the Activision Blizzard Q4 2011 financial conference call that Diablo III would ship in the second quarter of 2012 (that spans a range between April 1st to June 30th).

      Mike Morhaime: “We can also confirm that we are targeting a Q2 launch for Diablo III. We expect to announce more details about the release schedule in the coming weeks.”

Last week, Diablo III game director Jay Wilson relayed a message at the official forums stating:

      Jay Wilson: “We think you’re going to love Diablo III when it’s released, and speaking of release plans, you can seriously expect a launch-date announcement from us in the near future. See, I didn’t say “soon,” so I’m not taunting you. 😉 You’ll know as soon as I know for sure the exact date.”

With that kind of tease, CeBIT sounds like a plausible candidate to draw the most attention from international press. I wish to make clear it’s not official that Blizzard Entertainment will issue a press release about the release date of Diablo III at CeBIT. It’s a rumor.

Join the conversation at the following forum thread.