Release Date or Release Fake?

Is it real or is it fake? The fanboy sentiments churning just under the skin of any true Diablo fan make us want to believe in a concrete release date with the recent delay to 2012 and a development cycle that seems an accomplishment on its own.

Excitement and dashed expectations both contributed to the hype behind a recently posted image, supposedly a leaked email containing the full itinerary of this year's BlizzCon. Among the now-known reveals of the weekend's events, it also contains:

In addition to the accurate BlizzCon reveals and itinerary, the image also has a unalterable upload date for a period two months ago (see bottom of linked web page.) All this together makes for a compelling argument for a leaked release date.

At a cursory glance, this is all fine and dandy. But maybe there's more to this supposed leak than meets the eye. After letting the initial heat of discovery run its course, deeper inspection implores reason.

Besides wondering at why someone would go through the trouble of directly posting images of slideshow slides in an email and not simply typing the information out (if this were coming from a legitimate source, why would slides be needed to add authenticity?), the date, itself, is subject to scrutiny. In fact, the date shown below the hosted image reflects only its upload date.

The email is simple enough. Sending two empty slide images to himself, the supposed email recipient could then snap a picture, upload it to, and wait a couple months. With the information revealed at BlizzCon, the uploaded image could then be edited directly with the website's software--without changing the upload date.

Last, we wonder why on earth Blizzard would want to release a game into the market on Thanksgiving of all days, a day when most Americans--a major audience--aren't even home to rush to the stores or man cash registers?

All this to say, please be careful when you read supposed "leaks" about release dates. As we like to warn our members, any release date not from the lips--or fingers--of an official Blizzard representative can easily be faked, as we have seen in numerous cases in the past with faked Diablo III game boxes and faked Diablo III announcements. A simple image editor and some human ingenuity can go a long way, and so can gullibility.


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