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September 20, 2011

BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT BEGINS CLOSED BETA TEST FOR DIABLO® III

IRVINE, Calif. -- September 20, 2011 --Blizzard Entertainment announced today that the closed beta test for Diablo® III, its highly anticipated sequel to the best-selling Diablo action role-playing game series, has begun. The company has started issuing the first wave of invitations to participate in the testing process and is planning to add more participants over the course of the beta test. While enjoying an early look at the game, beta testers will provide valuable feedback as they help Blizzard Entertainment test server stability and hardware.

In the Diablo III closed beta test, participants will be able to fight their way through part of Act I as any of the five hero classes -- barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk, and demon hunter -- and go head-to-skull against the Skeleton King, taking him on alone or playing cooperatively with other adventurers. They’ll also get to meet up with some of the artisans, followers, and other key characters from Sanctuary, and try out the game’s skill and crafting systems.

"This closed beta test is an important milestone for us as we enter the final stages of development on Diablo III," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "Our goal is to create the best action role-playing game experience to date, building on everything we’ve learned since the release of Diablo II and incorporating the powerful features of the new Battle.net® platform. We hope players enjoy participating in the beta test and we look forward to hearing their feedback."

Diablo III will continue the epic Diablo storyline, with players playing their role in the ongoing struggle to save the world of Sanctuary from the corrupting forces of the Burning Hells. Diablo III will also be the definitive action role-playing game, with players adventuring through rich and varied settings, engaging in combat with hordes of monsters and challenging bosses, growing in experience and ability, and acquiring items of incredible power. As the sequel to Diablo II, the game will feature the easy-to-use interface, fast-paced action, and visceral gameplay that Diablo players have come to expect and enjoy. Designed from the ground up to leverage the power of Battle.net, Diablo III will also provide gamers with industry-leading matchmaking and communication tools; convenient character- and inventory-management options; and the Diablo III auction house, which will support a robust player-driven economy. 

Diablo III will be localized and released in multiple languages; however, the beta will be English-only. Release timing and region-specific details such as pricing and supported languages will be announced at a later date. For more information on Diablo III, please visit the official website at http://www.battle.net/d3/. To set up a Battle.net account and sign up for a chance to participate in the Diablo III beta test, please visit the official Battle.net website at http://www.battle.net.

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.