If you've been saving up your pennies for Diablo 3 or StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, don't smash the piggy bank just yet. At its Q4 2010 earnings call, Activision said it is unable to confirm the release of any Blizzard titles this year, but that could mean two or more for 2012.
"Because Blizzard Entertainment has not yet confirmed the launch date for its next global release," said CFO Thomas Tippl, "our outlook at this time does not include a new game from Blizzard in 2011. Should we not release a major title from Blizzard this year, we would expect for planning purposes to launch a minimum of two Blizzard titles in 2012."
This could mean that Diablo 3 and Heart of the Swarm will be coming in 2012, but the promise of those as a minimum is intriguing. A potential third game could be Blizzard's new MMO, another World of Warcraft expansion, or something else entirely.
We won't have to wait that long to hear more about the return of Diablo, though. Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime commented that he's "looking forward to sharing some more news about [Diablo 3], and our upcoming beta, on the next call." At the very least, we should have details on the beta by the end of May.
Regarding the financial risk of letting one of its biggest money-makers stay silent for the year, Activision seemed unconcerned. Tippl called leaving Diablo out of its plans a "prudent" move rather than a definite date, and the company reiterated plans to launch Cataclysm in China. Tippl also compared it to recent years when Blizzard didn't release a game in 2009, but saw success with major releases in 2010. Of course, with 12 million subscribers it's pretty easy to be confident.