Diablo III won’t have PvP at launch

In a post on Diablo III‘s official website, lead designer Jay Wilson has rather surprisingly announced that the PvP mode will not be included in the launch version of the game. Instead, Blizzard has decided to include the PvP Arena system in a future patch to come following the game’s official release.

In Wilson’s words: “After a lot of consideration and discussion, we ultimately felt that delaying the whole game purely for PvP would just be punishing to everyone who’s waiting to enjoy the campaign and core solo/co-op content, all of which is just about complete.”

So yes, there is a silver lining here: Diablo III is actually, finally, in the finishing stages of its development. “We’re counting down the days until we’re ready to announce a release date for Diablo III,” says Wilson. “Soon, you’ll be having a blast leveling characters, finding items, learning the classes, and perfecting builds…when the Arenas do arrive, you’ll be all the better prepared for battle.”

To call this kind of announcement long-awaited would be a mighty understatement.

As for details on the PvP patch, Wilson notes that, whenever it does arrive, it will include “multiple Arena maps with themed locations and layouts, PvP-centric achievements, and a matchmaking system that will help you and your team get into fairly matched games quickly and easily,” along with a “personal progression system” that rewards players for their kills.

Earlier this week, we reported that a listing on Amazon Italy had a release date of April 17th for the game, though that rumor was never validated. In the meantime, we’ll keep you updated, since it would appear that the end of Diablo III‘s developmental journey is nigh.