Tobold's Blog
Friday, September 23, 2011
Diablo 3 delayed to early 2012

Blizzard announced today that Diablo 3 will only be released in early 2012. I still refuse to believe that these release dates have anything to do with games other companies might or might not release in the same period. But now I sure hope that SWTOR isn't delayed into 2012 as well, because otherwise I'm not sure what I'll be playing on Christmas.
The Diablo 3 release date was already pretty much assured to be moved to 2012 a while ago. When Blizzard tells you that there is a slight chance they'll still make it in 2011, you know it'll be 2012 at the earliest ;)

As for SW:TOR I'm absolutely with you. About time that we got something to play once more (though I don't really need something for Christmas. That time of the year usually comes with the lowest amounts of free time for playing games in the whole year.)
This was expected. Blizzard does not like being rushed. The items DB that was released yesterday has me drooling though.
You're going to play Skyrim of course :P
Sigh... I'm in the same boat as you are Tobold. It seems I might have to opt for Skyrim.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it will be good, but Open World RPG's (like Oblivion/Fallout) sucks me in for at least 30-40 hours, and then... I get tired of them with no compulsion to continue the main quests.

I guess I can still hope for Torchlight 2 and that its more substantial in content than Torchlight, which I completed on Hard and had no compulsion to continue (fun though it was).

I have strong doubts about either SW:TOR or Guild Wars 2 coming out this year. There's only 3 months left and they have only 2 months to go gold otherwise 2011 is out of the question.
You can start looking for a game to play on Christmas then:
May I divert your attention to a little title called "Skyrim"? There goes your Christmas!

Oh and Firefall, I don't know what it is about this MMO, but I am all kinds of rabid and drooling over it.
Both Morrowind and Oblivion caused me video game nausea due to their bad camera management with the cursor fixed in the middle of the screen. Skyrim would need to be a game with a completely different camera and control system before I could try to play it.
It's Blizzard, I don't believe they have to take any other companies into account. They can release whenever they want, people will buy it. Smaller companies should adjust their schedules around Blizzards release dates.
Shhhh! you're giving away Blizzard Corporate Secrets!
I actually had no idea we were ever supposed to expect it in 2011. I must have missed that, so this announcement is no surprise or disappointment to me - I always expected 2012. :-)
Honestly I'm surprised. The game seemed ready at Blizzcon last year. I can't help but wonder if D3 is being held up for the same reasons SC2 was held up... implementation.

That being said I'm truly sad. I'm going to be deployed next year with a limited to none existent internet connection so odds are I wont be able to play this game.
Well my very first thought when blizz said Diablo will be 2012 was that well the 2011 floor is know 100% open for swtor. The fact that they announced today (weekend) with as late a Dec release date as possible makes sense. The only hedge is Dec 20 is late for xmas, just about as late as possible.

It really makes wonder is the devs game are 100% confident the game will be "done" then or if marketing just wants to take advantage of the open floor. Think - no diablo or guildwars competing for shelf space. That alone will get stwor a sales boost. I am also sure gameshop employees will be greatful for not having to suggest to parents which to choose.

Also, major companies without a doubt base major milestones and press like release dates on each other. That is how business in every industry is done. Business is pretty much find consumer want/need find something sellable decide when to release. I'll give you a quick real example that can relate to many businesses.

Shows. As in conventioans. The goal is to hit even or surpass your competion in bling and # or floor people. If your competion announces to share holders they are nixing their travel/entertainment budget to save money - yay. Now your company will either own the show..... or you'll find out 2weeks layer your T/E is gone too lol.

Now that release is set for swtor for them I would want patch one before diablo release, and free trial near giuldwars release.

If I was blizz I would announce a firm release date for diablo in nov and put preorder boxes on the shelves that include beta access so parents can buy and wrap it for xmas. If they can release in jan12 they may even be able to get some people to return swtor for credit toward diablo.

Lots of swtor will sell but due to holidays many won't install till later. This is smart as server load should be lower. But bad because if release goes bad there will likely be a large number of unopened boxes in wrapping.

If I was anet I would aim for 3 months after diablo release, prime time to grab people that bored of the end games of swtor and diablo and lined up for spring break.
"I still refuse to believe that these release dates have anything to do with games other companies might or might not release in the same period"

may I ask why? it is only good sense and business strategy to do so? of course you watch your competitors and ask yourself when the best window is for youself to launch a new title; everything else would be foolish. we all know how timing plays a role in game releases. sometimes it's worth it to 'attack' another launch, sometimes it's better to choose a free window. it all depends what other irons you have in the fire.

either way, I'm all for a game launching later than earlier. the more time goes into it, the better.
I think it's naive to assume a multi-billion company like Blizzard wouldn't watch the market though. or to say "they don't need that, they can do whatever they want". I doubt that very much and a good business always optimizes. after all capitalism is not about good enough, but about as good as possible.
If game companies worked like that, watching out for suitable release "windows", then why are most games released in the last quarter of the year?

I think there are extreme pressures on the release date of a big MMORPG: On the one side the thing did cost hundreds of millions of dollars to develop, and investors would like to see a return on their investment rather sooner than later. On the other side everybody knows by now how much a botched release in an unfinished state can hurt you. As a result any MMO release date is the best possible compromise between "it's ready", and "we need the money". The marketing guy proposing to release the game half a year later to avoid some competitors release will simply be laughed at.
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