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‘Diablo IV’ is almost here. What to know about the video game’s coming release

Access for the highly anticipated action role-playing game begins Thursday night — ahead of next week’s official launch. ‘Diablo IV’ marks the latest installment of Blizzard Entertainment’s ‘Diablo’ series

Activision Blizzard
The Activision Blizzard Booth appears during the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles on June 13, 2013.Jae C. Hong (AP)

The release of Diablo IV is right around the corner. Early access for the highly anticipated action role-playing video game begins Thursday night — ahead of next week’s official launch.

Diablo IV marks the latest installment of Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo series, which began in 1996, and arrives more than a decade after Diablo III was released in May 2012.

Rod Fergusson, general manager of Diablo, has described Diablo IV as “our most brutal vision of Sanctuary,” the fictional world where Diablo is set. It brings “the darkness of the original game” and builds on key aspects of previous installments of the series, he added.

In April, Blizzard Entertainment parent company Activision Blizzard reported a net revenue of $2.38 billion for the first quarter of 2023 — up from $1.77 billion for the first three months of 2022. At the time, Activision noted that presales for Diablo IV were strong, pointing to successful public testing of the game.

“All the excitement and feedback from players has been so energizing for all of us,” Mike Ybarra, president of Blizzard Entertainment, said in a statement.

Here’s what you need to know about the coming release of Diablo IV.

What time does Diablo IV release?

Diablo IV will be officially released on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, depending on the time zone of where you live. In the U.S., the game will launch at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT) on Tuesday.

While the official release of Diablo IV is slated for next week, early access will begin a few days earlier — kicking off on Thursday or Friday, also depending on your time zone. For U.S. players, early access will launch at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT) Thursday.

How do I get early access?

Early access will be available for players who pre-purchased the digital deluxe or ultimate edition of the game.

Players who have already purchased Diablo IV can also pre-load the game on some devices ahead of the launch. Pre-loading any edition is currently available for Windows PC, Xbox and PlayStation, according to Blizzard.

What are the Diablo IV character classes?

According to Blizzard, Diablo IV is set decades after the events of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. The demon Lilith and the angel Inarius have become enemies and launched a war against one another.

Upon the launch of Diablo IV, players will be able to enter one of five classes: the Druids, Rogues, Sorceresses, Barbarians or Necromancers.

Diablo IV will offer cross-platform play and progression on Windows PC, Xbox Series X’S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, as well as couch co-op, upon its launch, Blizzard said.

Activision financial results for 2022, Microsoft deal

Activision — which is also the maker of Call of Duty, Candy Crush and World of Warcraft — reported a net revenue of $7.53 billion for 2022, down from $8.8 billion for 2021.

In January 2022, Microsoft announced plans to acquire Activision — but, more than a year later, the blockbuster deal is still in jeopardy. While the European Union approved the $69 billion purchase last month, British regulators blocked the deal over concerns it would hurt competition in the small but rapidly growing cloud-gaming market. U.S. authorities are also trying to thwart the merger.

The companies are appealing the U.K. decision to a tribunal. If the appeal fails, Microsoft would be forced to either scrap the deal or carve out the U.K. as a separate market, which appeared to be an unfeasible option, Liam Deane, a game industry analyst for tech research and advisory firm Omdia, previously told The Associated Press.

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