The next entry in Blizzard's hit dungeon crawler RPG series is due to launch on June 6 and it has been a long wait. 11 years in fact. Fans got a glimpse of what to expect last month via some CGI footage that showed off Hell and a brief segment featuring Azrael who blew away some demons amidst an enormous battle.
Those eagerly awaiting Diablo 4 may be pleased to hear that a beta release date may be imminent. A Blizzard boss, and manager of all things Diablo, Rod Fergusson, teased that news could be coming soon (via PCGamesN). Fergusson was responding to a Diablo fan who inquired about further information on the open beta. Luckily, Fergusson replied directly.
"Soon!" came the response, but the second sentence revealed that Blizzard could be announcing the date of this open beta within this month.
This "gaming moment" very likely refers to the IGN Fan Fest, a livestream event that is confirmed to feature games such as Star Wars Jedi Survivor, Redfall, as well as Diablo 4. IGN Fan Fest is streaming on February 17 and 18 and with Fergusson's cryptic comment the signs align that Blizzard may be dropping the open beta release date at the event.
Diablo players can look forward to a darker story and tougher gameplay in this fourth entry while a more extended beta period will allow Blizzard to make tweaks before the official launch as they collect feedback. Diablo 4 is also expected to feature live-service elements such as battle passes, with Blizzard offering an Ultimate Edition for $100.
Meanwhile, there have been reports that Blizzard apparently incentivised crunch during the game's development and that it required "significant overtime". The Washington Post report claimed that many senior developers, with decades of experience, left Blizzard over the course of Diablo 4's development. While such working practices may not bode well for the title, it's a big enough name that players may have their fingers crossed it'll be worth the wait.
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