Diablo III console development picks up speed

Blizzard's all but confirmed Diablo III will eventually be available for consoles

What would you call a Blizzard job listing for 'Senior Producer, Console,' on Diablo III? Waffling? Uncertain? Iffy? How about "pretty much a shoe-in"?

"Blizzard Entertainment is looking for a highly organized individual with outstanding communications and project management skills for the Diablo team," reads the job listing for a "Senior Producer, Console" on Diablo III in Irvine, California.

And the second dead giveaway, my emphasis: "The ideal candidate has prior experience in console game development and has a keen knowledge of how each discipline operates and interacts."

Blizzard's teased Diablo III for consoles for several months now. Back in November, the company admitted it was "exploring a Diablo-related concept for consoles and...currently looking to fill a few senior console-related positions on the Diablo III team."

"As we've said in the past, with proper care the gameplay could suit the console platform, and we're interested in seeing what talent out there might be interested in such a project."

The company also cautioned the note was "not an announcement of a console title" and that they wouldn't "allow any possibility of a console interpretation to delay or affect the [PC] release of the game."

A console version's probably inevitable. Properly done (and assuming Diablo III's actually any good), it has the potential to eclipse the PC version in sales.

Whether it'll be out this year--Blizzard says it wants the game out by end of 2011--alongside the PC and OS X version seems less likely if they're just now getting round to producer listings. In fact I'd look for a console followup sometime in 2012. Even with StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm slipping to 2012, I'm seeing several 2012 holes in Blizzard's leaked roadmap that a Diablo III console release would fill nicely.

Source: Blizzard Entertainment

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Matt Peckham

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