Following a mysterious, two-week countdown, the Diablo3.com fansite has revealed that Diablo developer Blizzard has acquired the domain, fueling speculation that an official Diablo 3 announcement may be in the offing.
Thirteen days prior to the announcement, a countdown to May 1 began on diablo3.com which read, "The number of days until half the web links to Diablo3.com. But why???" At the end of the countdown it was revealed that Blizzard had been in contact with the owner of the Diablo3.com domain "a few months ago" with regards to acquiring it. At the time, however, they also emphasized that the acquisition shouldn't be taken as any kind of statement about the future of the Diablo franchise.
"While Blizzard is indeed acquiring the diablo3.com domain name, they told me that this shouldn't be considered an announcement for the Diablo 3 game we've been waiting for all these years. They acquire new domains all the time," wrote Mockery, the previous owner of the domain. "While this is true, I personally help can't but think that this is a confirmation of sorts that they've been working on the next Diablo game."
"Sure, they can claim it's because they want to protect their intellectual properties 'n what-have-you," he continued, "but I can't imagine they would all of a sudden be so interested in the diablo3.com domain if they weren't working on a new Diablo 3 game behind the scenes."
While Blizzard has not commented on the domain acquisition, they are assisting in the transition of the ten-year-old fan site by keeping diablo3.com pointed to the new diablofans.com website for "the next few months," after which the company plans to link the domain to the Blizzard website. The full press release and an ongoing forum discussion are available here.