Activision: At least two Blizzard titles coming in 2012, if none released this year

Speaking during a financial earnings call today, Activision COO Thomas Tippl said that if we don't see any games from Blizzard this year, the publisher expects to see them next year. "Because Blizzard Entertainment has not yet confirmed the launch date for its next global release," Tippl told investors and press, "our outlook at this time does not include a new game from Blizzard in 2011." But don't worry, Blizzard fans, Activision's got a whip it's not afraid to crack: "Should we not release a major title from Blizzard this year, we would expect for planning purposes to launch a minimum of two Blizzard titles in 2012."

Presumably, those two titles would be Heart of the Swarm (the Zerg-based expansion for Starcraft 2) and the long-awaited Diablo 3. Blizzard president Mike Morhaime joined the call after Tippl spoke and promised that more information was coming about both. Blizzard's developers, he said, are hard at work on Heart of the Swarm, and we'll hear more "in the coming months."

Additionally, Morhaime said that he would talk about Diablo 3 "and the upcoming beta on the next call," in about three months. "Until we get to beta and have the community help us test the game," he later said, "we're not going to lock in a release date."

Blizzard is also working to get both World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Starcraft 2 out in China, but had "no specific updates to share at this time" about those releases -- or the "Titan" MMO, for that matter. Morhaime did plug both the upcoming BlizzCon and Blizzard's twentieth anniversary this year, and closed by saying that "the games we have in the pipeline represent the best and widest slate of games we have ever produced."