Blizzard executive video president of game design Rob Pardo has been explaining why Diablo III's arrival is still a ways off, and grappling with the perennial problem of announcing big games too early.
Like other Blizzard properties Starcraft and World of WarCraft, Diablo has a large base of loyal fans, disappointed with any delays to new updates and sequels. Following the news that Diablo won't be released next year, Pardo told Techland, "We always announce all of our games too early. We realize that and go, ‘You know what? Next time we’re not going to do that.’ And then we always fail at that. But I’d rather fail at that than fail at making the game great. I think it’s safe to say that Diablo III is not going to be out next year.”
He added, "Each game has individual development teams; that's just the way that we develop games, we develop them very iteratively. We just have a different process and approach than a lot of other studios, and it makes it a very difficult process for us to predict street dates when we’re multiple years out.
"We're definitely not fiscal calendar-driven. And we know that our fanbase is not going to hold us to a fiscal calendar. With Burning Crusade, we missed Christmas by about three weeks. We could've shoved it out the door, but we decided we didn't need to get it into stores for Christmas. We just needed it to be great and our playerbase is going to buy it whenever it hits the shelves."