Blizzard executive teases Diablo IV beta announcement
by Danny Craig ·
Rod Fergusson, Senior Vice President of Blizzard Entertainment, has hinted that an announcement about Diablo IV's beta is on the way.
- In response to a tweet inquiring about the upcoming open beta, Fergusson stated that an update would be coming "soon," adding, "If only we were presenting at some sort of gaming event this month where one might announce such a thing…”
- The response is most likely referring to the upcoming IGN Fan Fest, which will take place on February 17 and 18. It has been confirmed that Diablo IV will be present, as well as other major titles such as Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Hogwarts Legacy, and Street Fighter VI.
- Diablo IV will be released on June 2, 2023 for PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. Originally targeted for release in 2022, the company decided to push the date back to 2023. According to a report speaking with developers who have worked on the title, the new launch date will still be difficult to achieve with crunch, which is almost guaranteed to ensure the game is in a playable state.
In other notable Blizzard news:
- Overwatch 2 will be returning to a credit system to replace the widely criticized monetization system that was put in place when the game launched as a free-to-play title. The return to the first game's system means that instead of completing 30 weeks of in-game challenges, players will be able to earn a legendary skin each season.
- Proletariat, a Blizzard studio, has dropped its union vote after the Communications Workers of America (CWA) claimed that CEO Seth Sivak "made a free and fair election impossible." A group at the studio announced that it was pushing for a union vote in 2022 and that it had enough support to win; however, the company's leadership allegedly took action that was "right out of the union-busting playbook.”
- Brian Birmingham, the lead software engineer for World of Warcraft, left Blizzard in January as a result of the studio implementing a stack-ranking system, which apparently forced managers to lower employee performance scores in order to create a bottom 5% who would have their chances of receiving a promotion or bonus reduced in the future.