Blizzard 'working hard' to ship Diablo 3 this year, but no promises

Today's Activision Blizzard earnings release includes the following disclaimer: "Since Blizzard Entertainment has not confirmed a launch date for its next global release, the company's calendar year outlook at this time does not include a new game from Blizzard in 2011."

But before you go tweetbooking about how Diablo 3 is never coming out, allow Blizz prez and co-founder Mike Morhaime a chance to address your concerns. "We are still working hard to ship the game before the end of the year; however, we're not ready to commit to a release date at this time," Morhaime told investors during a call this afternoon.

While Morhaime may not be sure if the retail box will be in stores before 2012, he's more confident that you'll be playing it in some capacity. "Diablo 3 is still on track to go into external beta testing later this quarter," Morhaime said. "We are very much looking forward to getting the beta into the hands of our players and collecting their feedback for the final phase of development."

Unlike many public(ity) betas, Morhaime insists this feedback is significant for Diablo 3. "There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to putting out a complex release like Diablo 3," Morhaime said. "We talked about the new auction house technology which has not been fully tested. We're not yet in beta and really it's just going to come down to when the game is ready for prime-time."

In fact, it sounds like Blizzard is waiting on the feedback from the beta before it makes a final decision on whether or not to release D3 this year. "We'll know more when we hit beta and we'll know more when we put some of these new systems into test. It's a brand new infrastructure, with a lot of complex moving parts." If you want Diablo 3 sooner than later, our advice is to join the beta and leave effusively positive feedback. It's a fool-proof plan!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.