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March 15, 2012

DIABLO® III MAY 15

Battle.net® presales for the hottest game of 2012 NOW LIVE

World of Warcraft® Annual Pass Promotion Ends May 1

 

IRVINE, Calif. -- March 15, 2012 -- The end is nigh! Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that Diablo® III, the next chapter in its critically acclaimed action role-playing game series, will be unleashed from the Burning Hells on May 15.

Starting that day, gamers with a thirst for fast-paced action and adventure will be able to purchase Diablo III at retailers throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. In addition, gamers in the regions above as well as in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil will be able to buy Diablo III digitally via Blizzard’s Battle.net® website.

Players in the listed Latin American countries and in Russia will be able to purchase Diablo III at local retail locations starting June 7. Digital availability for the Russian version of the game will also begin June 7. In addition to the English version, Diablo III will be fully localized into Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, European Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian, Korean, and Traditional Chinese.

Blizzard also kicked off global digital presales for Diablo III today. Would-be wizards, witch doctors, demon hunters, barbarians, and monks throughout the world should head to http://www.blizzard.com/games/d3/ now to reserve their digital copies.

“After many years of hard work by our development team and months of beta testing by hundreds of thousands of dedicated players around the world, we’re now in the homestretch,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We look forward to putting the final polish on Diablo III over the next two months and delivering the ultimate action-RPG experience to gamers worldwide starting on May 15.”

Diablo III will be available for Windows® XP/Windows Vista®/Windows® 7 and Macintosh® at a suggested price of $59.99 USD for both the retail DVD-ROM version and the digital version sold directly from Blizzard. A special alabaster-white Collector’s Edition, sold exclusively in retail stores at a suggested retail price of $99.99 USD, will include the full game on DVD-ROM, a behind-the-scenes Blu-ray/DVD two-disc set, the Diablo III soundtrack CD, a 208-page Art of Diablo III book, and a 4 GB USB soulstone (including full versions of Diablo II and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction®) and corresponding Diablo skull base, as well as exclusive in-game content for Diablo III, World of Warcraft®, and StarCraft® II: Wings of Liberty®. Diablo III has received a Mature rating from the ESRB.

World of Warcraft players interested in getting Diablo III free are encouraged to join the more than 1 million players who have already signed up for the World of Warcraft Annual Pass.* Through this promotion, with a 1-year commitment to World of Warcraft, players will receive a free digital copy of Diablo III -- which they’ll be able to start playing immediately on May 15 -- as well as an exclusive World of Warcraft in-game mount and access to the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria beta test. This offer will no longer be available as of 12:01 a.m. PDT on May 1. Learn more at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/annualpass.

In Diablo III, players take on the role of one of five heroic characters -- barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk, or demon hunter -- and engage in pulse-pounding combat with endless legions of evil. As they undertake an epic quest to rid Sanctuary from the corrupting forces of the Burning Hells, players will explore diverse and perilous settings, grow in experience and ability, acquire artifacts of incredible power, and meet key characters who’ll join them in battle or aid them in other ways.

Diablo III was built from the ground up to leverage the full functionality of the Battle.net platform, which delivers powerful matchmaking and communication tools, allowing adventurers to seamlessly join forces for exciting cooperative play. Battle.net also provides a secure infrastructure for the Diablo III auction house, a feature-rich marketplace that Sanctuary’s heroes can use to trade their hard-earned treasures. Players will be able to buy and sell weapons, armor, and other valuable items in the auction house in exchange for in-game gold. Players will also have the option to receive real-world currency for auction house sales, which they can apply to their Battle.net Balance for the purchase of a variety of digital products through Battle.net, including Diablo III auction house items, or cash out through a third-party payment service such as PayPal in most regions. Further details related to the auction house will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information on Diablo III, please visit the official website at http://www.diablo3.com. To set up a Battle.net account and to opt-in to Blizzard Entertainment beta tests, please visit the official Battle.net website at http://www.battle.net. With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available -- visit http://jobs.blizzard.com for more information and to learn how to apply.

*Based on internal company records.

About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes sixteen #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company's online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Blizzard Entertainment generally uses words such as “outlook,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “might,” “remains,” “to be,” “plans,” “believes,” “may,” “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “estimate,” “future,” “plan,” “positioned,” “potential,” “project,” “remain,” “scheduled,” “set to,” “subject to,” “upcoming” and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include, but are not limited to, sales levels of Blizzard Entertainment’s titles, shifts in consumer spending trends, the impact of the current macroeconomic environment, the seasonal and cyclical nature of the interactive game market, declines in software pricing, product returns and price protection, product delays, retail acceptance of Blizzard Entertainment’s products, competition from the used game market, industry competition and competition from other forms of entertainment, rapid changes in technology, industry standards and consumer preferences, including interest in specific genres such as real-time strategy, action–role-playing and massively multiplayer online games, protection of proprietary rights, litigation against Blizzard Entertainment, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, customers, licensees, licensors, vendors and third-party developers, including the ability to attract, retain and develop key personnel and developers who can create high quality “hit” titles, counterparty risks relating to customers, licensees, licensors and manufacturers, domestic and international economic, financial and political conditions and policies, foreign exchange rates and tax rates, and the identification of suitable future acquisition opportunities, and the other factors identified in the risk factors section of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.