PARIS – (Business Wire) Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today revealed Diablo® III, the newest entry in its critically acclaimed action role-playing-game franchise. The announcement was made during the 2008 Blizzard Entertainment® Worldwide Invitational at the Porte de Versailles Convention Centre in Paris, France. A cinematic trailer and an extended gameplay demonstration with commentary from the development team introduced the game to the thousands of players in attendance.
“We’ve wanted to expand on the epic story and gameplay elements of the Diablo universe for some time now,” stated Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We know that players have also been long awaiting a return to the series, so we’re very excited to be sharing this announcement with Blizzard gamers here in Paris and around the world today.”
Diablo III will pick up the story twenty years after the events of Diablo II. Mephisto, Diablo, and Baal have been defeated, but the Worldstone, which once shielded the inhabitants of the world of Sanctuary from the forces of both the High Heavens and the Burning Hells, has been destroyed, and evil once again stirs in Tristram. Playing as a hero from one of five distinct character classes, players will acquire powerful items, spells, and abilities as they explore new and familiar areas of Sanctuary and battle hordes of demons to safeguard the world from the horrors that have arisen. The first two characters classes — the barbarian and the witch doctor — were shown as part of the announcement at the event today in Paris.
Diablo III will feature a custom 3D-graphics engine to render lush indoor and outdoor areas of Sanctuary with a high level of detail and vivid special effects. The game’s physics-enhanced environments will be interactive and destructible, offering traps and obstacles that create added danger for players and monsters alike. These elements, along with a new quest system and random scripted events, will be integrated into the game’s random-level generator, giving Diablo III the ultimate combination of dynamic gameplay and replayability. Cooperative and competitive play will be available online through an upgraded version of Blizzard Entertainment’s renowned online gaming service, Battle.net®.
Blizzard Entertainment is developing Diablo III for simultaneous release on the Windows® and Macintosh® PC platforms. Further information about the game, including details on the other character classes, major new features for the single-player and multiplayer components, system requirements, pricing, and availability, will be announced as development progresses. To learn more about Diablo III, please visit the official website at www.diablo3.com.
About the Diablo Series
Launched at the end of 1996, the original Diablo helped popularize the action role-playing-game genre, earning widespread critical and commercial success. The game’s sequel, Diablo II, shipped in 2000 to similar acclaim, winning several Game of the Year awards and at the time becoming the fastest-selling computer game ever. Diablo II’s award-winning expansion set, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction™, debuted in 2001, becoming Blizzard Entertainment’s sixth-consecutive #1-selling game. To date, the franchise has sold more than 18.5 million copies worldwide.* Diablo’s gothic horror theme has also inspired a number of licensed products, including novels and action figures.