What's the old saying? Three may keep an NDA if two of them are dead? Whatever it was, it's been proved right by the recent launch of the endgame beta for Diablo 4 (opens in new tab), whose playtesters rushed to Reddit (opens in new tab) to post about it almost as soon as they were invited, in clear contravention of the big bright letters spelling out "CONFIDENTIAL" right there in the email.
Blizzard sent out the beta invites exclusively to players who "recently spent significant amounts of time playing the end-game experiences of Diablo II: Resurrected, Diablo III, and Diablo Immortal," according to an update (opens in new tab) the company put out last month. The very same update also pointed out that the beta would be "confidential, meaning players invited will be unable to publicly talk about or share their gameplay experience". Oh well.
The Diablo 4 subreddit has already had to clamp down (opens in new tab) on posts from excited beta participants violating their NDAs, but the cat's out of the bag. The internet is already awash with takes, screenshots, and gameplay videos of Diablo 4's post-campaign. On the other hand, the takes mostly seem quite positive so far, which probably soothes Blizzard's wounded trust at least a little bit.
It's far from the first Diablo 4 leak. It was only last month that 40 minutes of gameplay (opens in new tab) footage leaked, showing a Barbarian character traipsing across a test build that was light on textures and heavy on combat. With so much footage and info about the game already floating around, Blizzard's insistence on telling testers to keep everything secret feels like slamming the barn door after the horse has bolted and uploaded its adventures to YouTube.
Well, even the pretence of secrecy won't last long. Diablo 4 will open up public testing early 2023, and the game itself will launch the same year. That's if it doesn't leak first.