Blizzard has announced that their much-anticipated title Diablo III is set for release on May 15 in several regions, including the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Players in Latin America and Russia will see the game released on June 7.
Highlights from the company’s press release mention that both digital and physical copies of Diablo III will be available for $59.99 USD on both Windows and Mac systems. Meanwhile, a collector’s edition of the game will go for $99.99 USD that will include an art book, a soundtrack CD, a behind-the-scenes DVD/Blu-ray set, and other items. Players of World of Warcraft who have signed Blizzard’s Annual Pass offer will receive Diablo III for free as well as exclusive access to the beta test of the World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Panderia, and a mount to use in the MMORPG.
The full press release can be seen here.
Analysis: Traditionally, a triple-A title would be released around the holidays to ensure the companies see the best sales results; e.g. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released on November 11, 2011. This makes Blizzard’s decision to release a big game like Diablo III on May 15 of all dates look a little unorthodox. In fact, usually, it isn’t a good idea for a company to release a game at a time where games and their systems are in a sales lull, and that’s even more pronounced in the shaky economy we have now. However, given that we’re talking about Blizzard Entertainment and one of their few but top-hitting franchises, Diablo III isn’t likely to flop on its May 15 release date. All the different incentives to buy the game mentioned in the press release are just going to ensure its success despite the economic woes. I imagine the World of Warcraft players who’ve signed up for the Annual Pass for that get-Diablo-III-for-free deal will be especially happy to know the day they can start playing their free game.