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In my profession I conduct research and data analysis reviews for a successful marketing company. Basically I tap a vast amount of resources and marry that information together in an effort to predict what markets will do and which demographics will relate to those markets. I am good at my job. I enjoy what I do and I am spot on with my research. I’m not always 100% Correct but my data has generated millions of dollars worth of revenue for my company this year. The reason that I tell you this is to simply validate for you that I’m not simply someone living in my mother’s basement (she lives in mine..lol) making things up. I have real world experience figuring out what companies are planning to do and why they are going to do it. I think that I have an idea on when we will see a release of Diablo 3. I will not only lay out what I think is going to happen but I will explain why. I am making this post strictly for fun and entertainment and for the ability go back and say “I TOLD YOU.”
First I believe that we will have a release date of either:1/17/2012 or 1/24/2012.
Second, I believe this date will be announced on 12/10/2011 at the Spike Video Game Awards when Diablo wins the award for most anticipated game of the year.
Which is you have not voted for Diablo the do so by clicking this link: http://www.spike.com/events/video-game-awards-2011-voting/voting/most-anticipated-game
Why do I believe this will happen? Its simple the biggest threat to Blizzard right now is any game that will take away from their player base for World of Warcraft. (This is why they created the WoW Annual pass. WoW is the bread and butter of this company and it is a great game it paid for the creation of Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 so even if you don’t like the game you have to at least tip your hat to the most successful MMORPG of all time.) The only game that will take players away from WoW is Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Blizzard has a projected rate of 22% of WoW players will take advantage of the Annual pass. They have also projected that they will see a 6.34% drop in subscriptions due to SW:TOR. They have been very careful to time the newest content patch and pvp season to compete with the release of SW:TOR which is 12/20/2011 this will also be the release date of the next patch. There is a chance that the patch will release on 12/13/2011 as well, with the new PVP season beginning on 12/20/2011.
Much like WoW, SW:TOR has a 1 month free play cycle before the monthly billing cycle is to begin. When any game or expansion is released there is a 5-7% drop off of players that quit the game during that free month. The free month of game play will end on 1/19/2012.
A carefully timed Diablo release date will return take additional players away from the player base that will be playing SW:TOR.
Demographics:There are multiple types of gamers that Blizzard can hope to retain, regain and earn with this type of release schedule.
1.The diehard WoW players: These players are always going to play WoW no matter what happens they are mildy pissed about the Pandas but they are going to keep playing. They are going to take advantage of the annual pass. Why? Because they were going to play anyway for 1. Secondly they are getting 100% access to the next WoW Beta which should begin right before Blizzcon 2012. They are going to get a free copy of Diablo and will jump in and play it from time to time. With a small portion becoming HUGE fans of Diablo 3. This group will be the biggest users of the real money auction house. This group is locked in and will not play the Star Wars MMO.
2.Diablo 2 diehards- These guys have been waiting 10 long years and are going to buy this game. It’s a free to play and they won’t play SW:TOR anyway. These will be the people who are wearing jean shorts to the midnight release for D3.
3. Game Hoppers- They have an active WoW account but they are not logging in daily. They also play DC universe and Minecraft. They have no loyalty to a game they just love to play games. These people also still likely have an Atari and original NES hooked up in playable condition. Some of them are play Gyromite with ROB at this very moment. They will also purchase SW:TOR and Diablo but with Diablo being free to play they will keep playing D3 and pick between SW:TOR and WoW. I think these players Wash out in a 50/50 split between the two games but with some creative marketing Blizzard will come out ahead when MoP (Mists of Pandaria) is released in Q1 of 2013.
4. Star Wars galaxies players who came to WoW. I think this is a 50/50 Split. It’s hard to win over Fanboys.
5. New Gamers- The Spike award will win new gamers over to Diablo 3. Through their battle net accounts I’m sure there will be some creative marketing and free trials and there will be a gain to the WoW player base. Another win for Blizzard.
I could go on a bit longer but I will simply leave you with this notion. Blizzard is very smart and they did not get to number 1 by making huge mistakes. There was never any intention of having anything but an FnF BETA. But when the release date was pushed back to a back up date they had to give the players something.
Why was the release date pushed back? It’s very simple.This month was a HUGE release month for console gaming MW3, Assassins Creed and Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. Why would you release anything into that market? They could have and they still would have done well. But they will do much better releasing into a January market: Releases in January will be Rainbow 6, GTA, and Diablo 3.
Feel free to leave your comments and fall back to this thread to either hate on me if I am wrong or give me props when you see I am correct. Either way I look forward to seeing you in game on January 17th. I already put in my vacation request!
Edit* I made one edit to this post because it was hard to read because it auto remove my space breaks.
Edited by Druwin on 11/18/2011 11:14 PM PST
You make some excelent points. My guess is early to mid February for a release date. January could be possible. Alot of it depends on how the beta goes as well. Im not in it personally but from what im reading, we are going to have to wait for some kinks to get worked out and some Monstor and difficulty tweaking. Doesn't matter when it releases but Jan/Feb would deffinatly have some good First week sales.
Honestly I thought the same thing but I couldn't get it out in any shorter of a version. Hopefully you read the entire post but if not that's ok too. Thanks for at least giving it a small read.
From someone like you that has a pretty extensive forum history I take this as a huge compliment. Thanks So Much!
I like logic and this post brought it. Part of me hopes your right because I want D3 asap but part of me wants a bit more of a delay because I might need a new lappy (which I really can't afford) or figure out how to cram my stored desktop in an already very cramped apartment... But yeah, I digress. Excellent post. A+++ etc.
She has her a room she get to share with my wife. The kitchen....I'm just kidding. Sorry Mom.
Nice post, however I believe you are off by a few weeks. I think we will have a Feb 7th release.
I just love and play blizzard games and I have just a feeling on a Feb 7 release.
I believe you are spot on when you say that the release date will be announced around the Spike Video Game Awards, it would be the perfect time to if they win the award and a week before SW:TOR might take some hype away from swtor and put it back onto blizzard.
I also found a thread on Diablofans a few weeks ago saying that the past 4 blizzard games BC, Wotlk, Starcraft 2 and Cata, all had their release dates announced at least 8 weeks before the release date. With that in mind 8 weeks after the Spike Video Game Awards would place it around Feb 7th.
Another reason that i don't believe it will not be released in Jan is that not very games are. I have every console and play and buy a lot of games and I can not remember any games off the top of my heads that have had a Jan release. i don't have any facts to base that on but just think back and try to remember a Jan release for a game. November is crazy with releases they slow down a bit in Dec just before xmas then nothing for the month of Jan, money can be tight after xmas, then games start to come out again in Feb.
As i said i have nothing to base this on, it's just my own little prediction. Nevertheless good thread and can't wait for the release when ever it is.
Made a lot of sense and not only about what you said but also to add to the part about this months games releases, particularly MW3, and the fact that Activision owns Blizz and the CoD franchise, it wouldn't make ANY sense to have your own products competing with each other (D3 and MW3). Although blizzards reason for pushing back D3 was "they felt it wasn't ready" well Blizzard could take another year on d3 if they could because for them a game is almost never ready. It never really made sense as to why only 1-entire-freaking-month really was necessary other than what I presume is your own analysis.
Edited by LeGeNDz on 11/19/2011 12:16 AM PST
Burning Crusade was released in January after being pushed back from its original date eh hem like Diablo 3...
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