Diablo III doesn’t officially have a release date. So when a knowledgeable gamer strolled into a Best Buy in Rochester, Minnesota and saw a countdown clock for a supposed midnight release of Diablo III, he did what any gamer would do; snap a pic and put it on the internet to let the rumor mill take the wheel from there.
What you see in the picture above is a sign spotted in that Best Buy store. We can see three things very clearly. One, it’s advertising Diablo III. Two, it’s claiming that the game, which has not had an official release date announced as of this writing, is being released on the 1st day of February, (or Feburary as the sign seems to say.) Three, all the official logos and disclaimers and such are there.
You know, these kinds of things are usually pretty easy to see through, but this looks surprisingly official on the surface. Documents and emails can be easily forged and spread, but a picture of a sign like this? That means this is either a legitimate sign that may have been put out too early, a horrible miscommunication on Best Buy or Blizzard‘s part, or someone is trying to grab some publicity by making stuff up, and doing a darn good job at making it look real with that fancy clock and whatnot.
Let’s do some extra digging, shall we? As of this morning, a call to the Best Buy in question brought back the answer that the above sign is indeed real. You can walk in and see it. A same call to a number of stores near me all say they have no idea what I’m talking about. As of a few hours ago, the General Manager of the store had requested that the sign be taken down, less than 24 hours after setting the internet on fire with rumors.
But to throw a bucket of water on the blaze, Community Manager Micah “Bashiok” Whipple took to Twitter and said to everyone that “Diablo III does not have a release date. Any store or person claiming otherwise is guessing.”
Not only that, but even if Blizzard was planning on doing a very quick, silent release, they’re currently still in beta stages for a lot of features, and debating with several international governments regarding the whole “virtual goods for real money” thing. There’s absolutely no way this is real.
But hey, it was fun to speculate for a bit, wasn’t it?