IRVINE, Calif. – Mar. 15, 2000 – The countdown has begun to Blizzard Entertainment’s most anticipated beta sign-up ever. Starting Monday night, hardcore gamers in North America will have the opportunity to register for their chance to be one of 1,000 players to have the first public look at the Diablo II.
The beta signup is scheduled for a 24-hour period on www.blizzard.com beginning on Monday, Mar. 20 at 12:01a.mPST and ending Monday, Mar. 20 at 11:59 p.m PST. Following the registration period, Blizzard will randomly select 1,000 testers based on a variety of system configurations and locations. Only one submission per person will be accepted. Selected testers will be notified within a week of registration, and a complete list of testers will be posted on www.battle.net.
This initial phase of beta testing is being limited to the United States and Canada. During a second phase of beta testing, gamers from around the world will be able to play Diablo II on their region’s local servers.
The beta, which will only be playable over Battle.netÒ, will include all five character classes – Amazon, Barbarian, Necromancer, Paladin and Sorceress – and will include Act I of the game. The purpose of the beta test is to ensure Battle.net stability, check system compatibility and balance game play.
In Diablo II, players return to a dark world plagued by evil forces. After possessing the body of the hero who defeated him, Diablo resumes his nefarious scheme to shackle humanity into unholy slavery by joining forces with the other Prime Evils, Mephisto and Baal. Players face a new series of quests to rid the world of Diablo and his vile brethren forever.
When Diablo released in 1997, it was an instant hit among gamers and debuted as the number-one selling game its first month in stores. The game has sold about 2 million copies worldwide and was the number-one selling computer role-playing game in 1997.
Diablo II is being developed by the Blizzard North design team and is expected to release during the first half of this year in Windows®95/98/2000/NT. A Mac version will follow shortly thereafter. The game will be available at most computer and software retail chains worldwide. The game will also be offered directly from Blizzard at (800) 953-SNOW and www.blizzard.com.
Best known for blockbuster hits including the Warcraft series, StarCraft and Diablo, Blizzard Entertainment (www.blizzard.com) is a premier publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating many of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard’s track record includes three consecutive number-one selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s free Internet gaming service Battle.net reigns as the largest in the world with millions of unique users.