Diablo III to launch in May

At long last, gamers, the wait is over: Diablo III will launch on May 15—and World of Warcraft players can get the game for free.

Blizzard Entertainment made the launch announcement Thursday, nearly four years after announcing its development and acknowledging beta testing last summer. (The last edition in the franchise, Diablo II, was released in 2000.) Players of the new game can choose to be a barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk, or demon hunter—then go on an “epic quest” to rid Sanctuary of the evil “Burning Hells” in a series of intense battles.

World of Warcraft players who have subscribed to that game's “annual pass” program by May 1 can get a digital copy of Diablo III for free. (Subscribers will also have access to additional World of Warcraft content.)

Digital pre-sales start immediately, and the game will be available for the Mac, as well as several different editions of Windows. Diablo III will cost $60—or, if you're a hard-core fan, $100 for the collector's edition that includes the full game on DVD-ROM, a behind-the-scenes DVD, game soundtrack CD, a commemorative book, and other items. The game is rated Mature for bloody violence.

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