Blizzard Hopes to Release Diablo 3 in 2011, but Heart of the Swarm 'Unlikely'

By Steve Watts, Feb 11, 2011 3:30pm PST

Activision's announcement that we may not see a Blizzard game released in 2011 shed serious doubt on their two known projects: Diablo III and StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm. According to Blizzard, though, there's still hope for one of them this year.

Kotaku reports that the team is still aiming to finish Diablo 3 for 2011. "That's our goal," said executive VP of game design Rob Pardo. "But you know, at the end of the day, we are going to get it right. That's more important. We're going to get it out there when it's awesome. And, we're crossing our fingers, maybe it will be this year."

That may not sound optimistic, but it's absolutely glowing compared to our odds on seeing Heart of the Swarm this year. "We're working on it as hard as we can," game director Dustin Browder told Eurogamer. "We're really trying to push on this and get it out as soon as we can. I don't think you'll be playing it this year. That seems very unlikely to me."

Of course, it's a strong possibility that neither game will come out this year, and Activision has already promised at least two games in 2012 -- presumably these two -- if none come out in 2011. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and 2012 could become a banner year for Blizzard fans.

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  • I think Bliz are too careful, too cautious with their releases
    Let's face it, despite the years and yeas and years of protracted development, they STILL need to patch for bugs and balance issues after release...how long was it before the first Starcraft 2 patch?...and they are still tweaking Diablo 2 and Starcraft years after release.
    So., if you can't get it 100% right even after years of game play, how on earth can you hope to do so prior to release.
    Fix the game-ending bugs, get your storyline down, make the balance about 90%, and get the fucker OUT.
    Bliz will be tweaking balance and game-play elements for years, so why keep it under wraps trying to make it "as perfect as possible" It won't be, so don't bother!
    tldr...Ship it now, tweak it after 1,000,000 players have torn the balance to shreds, cos you aint gonna get it right anyway...

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 3 replies.

    • Game balancing is NOT the same as development. The protracted part of Blizzard's development has nothing to do with balancing the games, but getting the actual game (the content/story/gameplay/sound/etc) working perfectly. This is why Blizzard games have such polish - which has, again, nothing to do with the underlying game of cat-and-mouse they play with the balance in their games.

      The reason they are still balancing ten year old games today is because of two things: One, the games are obscenely complicated once all abilities, strategies and overall possibilities are considered, and two, players are constantly learning new ways to exploit the balance and gain the upper hand. It's impossible to get balance in games this complicated (especially SC2 and WoW) to 100% equality. Blizzard patches the balance, then not long later players will catch up and find ways to gain the upper hand, blizzard patches again soon after, rinse and repeat. It will never end as long as their games remain popular.