Blizzard's Goal is to Release Diablo III This Year

Blizzard tells Kotaku that they still hope to release Diablo III in 2011.

The news comes just days after the chief operating officer of Activision Blizzard told investors that there was no release window for the game, so they decided to omit it from their 2011 financial outlook.

Despite the crushing news, I couldn't help bring up the game again when Blizzard founder Michael Morhaime and Rob Pardo, executive vice president of game design at Blizzard Entertainment, walked the red carpet at this weeks' Interactive Arts and Sciences Awards.

I mentioned I was getting a new gaming computer this week and asked what I should be playing on it. After Morehaime suggested I load up World of Warcraft and StarCraft 2. I asked, "Will I be christening my new computer with Diablo III this year?"

"We really, really hope so. That's our goal," Pardo said. "Our goal is to get there. But you know, at the end of the day, we are going to get it right. That's more important.

"We're going to promise, we're going to get it out there when it's awesome. And, we're crossing our fingers, maybe it will be this year."

When it hits, will Diablo III be an experience perhaps too simplistic for today's gamers, I asked?

"We always felt there was a niche that wasn't really being served," Morhaime said, "that the Diablo gameplay experience was very different from a lot of games that are out today."

Pardo followed up, saying he had to disagree with his boss.

"Niche implies something small, this little crevice we need to work ourselves into," he said. "The thing Diablo has always done really well is broaden the RPG market. It brought people into it, who might not have come into it before. It's there for anyone who wants to have fun for 15 minutes or three hours."