Diablo3.cc has posted news about a Diablo 3 event at Blizzard Irvine, coming up in late July. The Google translation is a little dodgy, as always, but here’s the gist of things:
On July 26, 2011, we will visit Blizzard’s US Headquarters for a Diablo 3 play test. During the visit, the Diablo III team will allow us to play a new demo version of the game. They will also exclusively reveal a new Battle.net feature. We will also conduct developer interviews and personally experience play time on the demo. The event takes place July 26-27th, but all attendees will be bound by an NDA until August 2nd, when we will be able to reveal the new information.
(KuangTu posted more info about this in our forum; something I didn’t notice until after I’d written this post.)
Blizzard hosts these sorts of fansite previews fairly regularly, in the months before their games launch. There have been several for WoW expansions, and a Starcraft 2 expansion event just went down in late May, about a year after they ran one for the launch of the original SC2.
Bloodface’s quote (above) basically sums up how these events work; fansites are flown in from around the world, given a tour and a presentation of new info, get an interview or two with the devs, plus play time. They’re under an NDA while there and for a few days afterwards, to give everyone time to get back home and write up their coverage.
The most interesting thing about this is the date. Late July, under an NDA until August 2nd. As you’ll recall, Bashiok told us that all the game systems would be revealed before the beta began. Well, now we know that a major Battle.net feature (Auction House?) will be revealed on August 2nd, which seems to indicate that the beta will not commence until some point after that date. Guess you can cancel those beta vacation days you requested for July 1-5th…