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“Starter Edition” for Diablo III leaks, Blizzard shuts down servers for “maintenance”

4/18/12 1:00pm

Blizzard has pulled the plug on the Diablo III beta prematurely as some Battle.net users gained access to the game through an unannounced “Starter Edition”. As the screenshot indicates, Blizzard is apparently working on some sort of glorified demo or free to play version of Diablo III and it leaked onto the Internet this morning. Users on Battle.net without access to the closed Beta were gaining access using this installer, forcing Blizzard to shut down servers until the issue is resolved.

Players who were able to play the Starter Edition before the servers went down said it included the same content as the Beta, with all five classes and numerous prompts to purchase the full game. This would appear to be following current business models in place for WoW and Starcraft II, who each have their own Starter Editions as of June & August last year. While I look forward to the May 15th release of Diablo III, it’s exciting to see that the “try before you buy” model is becoming a standard, and my character progression won’t be lost. Something all too common with the standard demo… 

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