UPDATE: There's been some confusion over Blizzard's reference to dropping the Diablo III beta during the third quarter of 2011. I'd assumed Blizzard meant the calendar year quarter, which meant July through September, but I wanted to confirm this with Blizzard.
"The Q3 reference in today’s earning's call was a calendar quarter," said a company representative. "We're aiming to launch the Diablo III beta between July 1st and September 30th. Please keep in mind that it's our current goal, and of course that can change as development continues."
Let's keep this one short 'n sweet: a Diablo III beta is coming. It's coming in third quarter 2011, which means sometime before September 30, when Activision Blizzard's third quarter ends.
"We began internal, company-wide testing this week," said Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime on the Activision Blizzard quarterly call this afternoon.
Betas are important, but betas don't last forever. When are we going to play the finished thing?
"The development team is working hard to try and launch Diablo III this year," said Morhaime.
Unlike basically other game in Activision's lineup, however, Blizzard does not have to commit to release dates. Diablo III is no different, which is why Blizzard is non-committal about the release date.
"We will not compromise the quality of the game in order to hit a window," he concluded.