Not many developers can boast three hugely successful franchises, but with Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo, Blizzard can do just that. Unfortunately, the popularity of the first two series may be why the highly anticipated third entry in the latter is being delayed. Diablo III was announced way back when the fate of World of Warcraft's future and Starcraft II's success was uncertain. But with the exceptional sales of WoW's expansion, Cataclysm, and Starcraft II's explosion in the e-sports scene, it seems like Blizzard may put Diablo III in its back pocket for the time being.
Blizzard execs refused to comment, but an anonymous source stated that Diablo III will come, just not this year and maybe not even next year. When asked whether it was because of the other two franchises, the source refused to comment further.
The timing of such a move is questionable, as the Action-RPG genre — of which the Diablo series is a part of, if not responsible for — seems more popular than ever after the surprising success of Torchlight. In fact, Torchlight 2, Spore-spinoff Darkspore, Dungeon Siege III, and the spiritual successor to Titan Quest, Grim Dawn, are all on the horizon, with Darkspore ready to launch this month.
So is it that Blizzard doesn't want to cannibalize its other franchises or is it more that they're worried that there will be too much competition in the Action-RPG genre this year? In any case, Diablo fans will have a wait quite a bit longer — but at least there are other games coming out to fill that loot-gathering addiction for now.