Over the weekend Blizzard held their annual World-Wide Invitational (WWI), this year in Paris, France. Last years WWI, in Seoul, South Korea, saw the announcement of Starcraft II, so there were hight expectations for this year!! And They didn’t disappoint with the the announcement of Diablo III!!!

There has been quite a bit of speculation as to what would be unravelled this year, especially with the Blizzard website splash images hinting at several possible titles over the last week or so…

For those that are unfamiliar, let me run through a brief history of Diablo and to a lesser extent: Blizzard. They came out with Warcraft: Orcs and Humans a long time ago (1994), this was then followed up with Diablo in 1996/7 and then Starcraft in 1998. Each of these has had numerous expansion packs and a couple of them sequels and expansion packs, and in the case of Warcraft, an entire world in an online experience.

The original Diablo was a fairly simple action role-playing game, point and click to do most things. I think the big appeal was the engrossing storyline and replay-ability as there were numerous characters that you could use to play the game and each one was a different experience, despite the same quests throughout the game. This was expanded later in the year with Diablo: Hellfire, which added a couple of extra players and another act to be played through, although I never actually bought and played this expansion, and this wasn’t actually a Blizzard creation. Several years later (2000), Diablo II came out and brought the whole experience back to life. battle.net; an online, region-based community and portal for playing Diablo, and then other Blizzard games, was more of a focus for me, I actually had some estranged friends online whom I interacted with, possibly more than offline people…. Finally in 2001, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction was released, adding an entire 5th Act to the 4 already present in Diablo II, as well as 2 character classes.

Overall, Blizzard games have been an addictive part of my life so far, with the exception of World of Warcraft. I’ve been known recently to take time off of work to go and play with a bunch of guys from church for a day or more, and will be doing so on iPhone day: July 11th as well. The announcement of Diablo III has been awesome and I eagerly await the day it is released!!

For those interested, check out Blizzard Entertainment‘s Diablo III Website