It’s been a week since the Diablo 4 beta test started, and players are already leaking footage of the game on the internet. What’s funny is that the screenshots have the testers’ identifying number all over them, which means that Blizzard likely already knows who these people are.
Diablo IV | Developer Gameplay Showcase
The leaks were obtained from a beta test for friends and family of Blizzard, whom Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier says are under NDA. This means that they’re legally bound not to share information from the build. However, that hasn’t stopped some testers, who uploaded screenshots and videos to the internet.
They show a relatively no-frills character creator, the five classes (which have already been announced, including the returning Rogue and Sorcerer class from Diablo I and II), difficulty selectors, and the specs of the game. The test build is currently a little over 67 GB, but this could change once the full version of the game comes out. Beta tests are intended for the developers to make some final tweak. And we’re still at least months, if not a full year from Diablo IV’s release date.
Listen, I have no horse in this race. But it’s both appalling and hilarious to me that these leakers uploaded screenshots and videos that have watermarks all over them. These watermarks indicate a specific build number, which is likely attached to a real name in Blizzard’s database somewhere. To the publisher, the leakers might as well have attached images that say “Private test build John Smith.”
One of the leakers even said: “I really don’t know if I can even stream this.” Um. Good luck getting invited to the next beta test, John Smith.
Since the Diablo IV beta test isn’t open to the general public, it’s hard to say what the exact consequences are. The Diablo Reddit moderators speculate that consequences can include suspensions from Activision Blizzard’s game store. But there’s no official word on what will happen to beta testers who posted the Diablo IV leaks. Kotaku reached out to Blizzard, but did not receive a reply by the time of publication.
Diablo IV doesn’t have an exact release date yet, but it is currently slated for sometime in 2023. It was originally announced in November 2019 after years of uncertainty over the series’ future. Players were concerned that Diablo IV would have the same kind of monetization as Immortal, a concern that Blizzard addressed directly in a stream: “[Diablo IV] is coming out as a full-price game built strictly for PC and console audiences.”
Update 8/8/2022 1:39 P.M. E.T.: The headline has been updated to more accurately reflect the article.