Blizzard Entertainment might after have plans to ship Diablo III around the fourth quarter of 2011 -- to be optimistic.
Some press members have reported they were at Irvine recently playing Diablo III, these past days. Jay Wilson told the New York Times the following statement that really makes my skin chill with excitement:
“We’re definitely in the home stretch. We’re crunching. This is when the magic happens.”
That sounds VERY optimistic. Apparently, Blizzard finished the single-player Acts and the team is begun to polish, and QA test in preparation for Diablo III beta testing.
Just a few days ago, Activision Blizzard announced they will broadcast the 2011 First Quarter Financial Report on May 9th at 1:30pm.
That's significant because on February 9th, Mike Morhaime (Blizzard CEO / President) said at the 2010 Fourth Quarter Financial Report that he would have details on Diablo III beta testing at the next conference -- which is May 9th.
That said, combining this with Jay Wilson's thrilling comment, Blizzard might really be planning to announce Diablo III beta testing date. By tradition, beta testing usually lasts 4-6 months.
If Diablo III beta started on August and lasted about four months, the game might ship around December/January. If Diablo III beta started as early as June, counting six months of beta testing in mind, the game might ship between November/December. Seems there's potential for a 2011 release if things are optimal. However, Blizzard ships when the game is ready. So don't hold your breath.