Did Blizzard accidentally ship some Diablo 4 collector's editions a month early? Uh, maybe

Diablo 4 won't be out until June 6, but the Diablo 4 Collector's Edition seems to have slipped out early: More than a month ahead of its scheduled release, it's already in the hands of some influencers, and they're posted unboxing videos.

There are at least a few Diablo 4 unboxing videos kicking around on YouTube, but I prefer the one from Diablo partner and content creator wudijo, because the box is so clearly labeled, "Do not ship before 1st June 2023"—in all caps, no less. There's nothing on the label about not opening it before 1st June, though, and so wudijo takes knife in hand and does just that. 

How do you miss that? (Image credit: Wudijo)

(Side note: if you're ever playing Diablo 4 with one of these folks, maybe keep them away from any sacred seals, cursed sarcophagi, or other do-not-open-this-evil-box scenarios beneath the lands of Sanctuary.)

Anyway, it's a nice CE, and I say this as a guy who genuinely appreciates (and occasionally pays for) such things. The box itself is a double gatefold, which opens to reveal two very nice prints, a hardcover art book, a large pedestal candle (electric, not wax, sadly), some blood petals, a large Horadric Crest pin, a mouse pad, and an impressively large cloth map—the centerpiece of any good collector's edition. It's an impressive package by any measure.

The Diablo 4 collector's edition is available for preorder now on the Blizzard Store for $96.66 (get it?), which is a very reasonable price—except, as the store page notes in bright red, the box doesn't include the game itself. Add the cost of that to the total and you're very suddenly pushing (or exceeding, depending on your choice of edition) the $200 price point. That's definitely more in light with big collector's edition releases, although it's still not bad for something on this scale.

Gameless CE's have been an occasional topic of conversation in a big box collector's group I'm part of: Are they really collector's editions without the game? My position is, they are not—It's swag, nothing more. And that's perfectly fine, I'm a big fan of all that silly game-adjacent tat that takes up space on shelves (or floors, if you're willing to drop the big bucks). But to be a particular edition of a game, it has to actually include the game.

Frankly, what I'm really curious about here is that shipping label: Did Blizzard really blow its own embargo (by a month!) or is wudijo (or someone in the Blizzard shipping department) just having a little laugh? I've reached out to Blizzard to ask and if anyone answers, I'll let you know. In the meantime, do not forget: There's one more Diablo 4 playtest on the way, the open-to-all "server slam," which kicks off on May 12.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.