Mike Morheime has clarified what's going on with the launch date.Blizzard games are like buses: you wait for ages, and then two turn up at once. In their ongoing investor call, Activision-Blizzard hinted that Diablo 3 might be ready for 2011, but that they wouldn't rush the game out to hit a deadline."
Mike said that 'the game does not have a launch date. We're working very hard to try and release it this year, but we will not compromise on quality.' He also confirmed that the Diablo 3 beta will hit in the third quarter of 2011. Squee!
During Activision's financial predictions, they carefully noted that the predictions were based around 'not expecting a Blizzard game in 2011'. But the company pointed out that if their prediction were to come true, 'we'd expect two Blizzard titles in 2012.
If we had our betting hats on, that would put the Diablo 3 release date as early 2012, with a new World of Warcraft expansion hitting late 2012, and Heart of the Swarm landing in 2013.