Today Activision-Blizzard's 2011 First Quarter Earnings Call was broadcast live over the web to investors and the press. During the call it was suggested by the presenters that it StarCraft II's second installment, Heart of the Swarm likely wouldn't be released until 2012. However, Mike Morhaime, Blizzard's President, did announce that portions of Heart of the Swarm will be shown to the worldwide press later this month.

Even more exciting for Blizzard gamers is the announcement by Morhaime that later this year - we might be playing Diablo III in a closed beta later this year.

"We began internal company-wide testing last week. The game looks great and we're currently targeting a Q3 launch for external beta testing."

However, Morhaime was quick to follow up that statement with a typical caveat - Blizzard would not compromise quality to hit a release window. As hardcore gamers, we can appreciate the sentiment.

If you're interested in seeing the slides or listening to a recording of the call, make sure to check out the source. Just beware of the investment bankers' questions as the end whose interest lied solely in the direction of subscriber numbers and the monetization of various gaming services and content.

Source: - Activision Blizzard First Quarter Calendar 2011 Results Conference Call"

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