It’s been a rough week in big-ticket game development — and it’s only Monday. Shortly after Rockstar confirmed the prolific leak of GTA VI material was the result of a hack, Blizzard is dealing with its own leak of Diablo IV footage.
Reported by PC Gamer, it appears an eagle-eyed Reddit user going by iV1rus0 noticed the videos had been uploaded to a file sharing website and shared the link. The leaked footage is spread across two videos clocking in at 43 minutes and appears to be from a Discord stream. The videos are watermarked, denoting that the footage was from a private test build with a number that might identify which tester this footage came from. (RIP to them.)
The videos also feature computer-modulated voices (ostensibly to disguise the videos’ provenance) incredulous that the game they’re watching is Skyrim and could not possibly be Diablo IV.
It’s clear the footage is from an early build of the game as certain textures had not been added, but on the whole, it looks like a Diablo for sure. The Verge has reached out to Blizzard for comment. While it did not offer a comment directly, shortly after the news broke, Blizzard sent out PR advertising a confidential closed-end game beta. Whether this beta was serendipitously timed or announced early to blunt the blow of the leak is up for speculation.
Diablo IV, like Overwatch 2 before it, has gone through a bit of development hell, with its release date being pushed back twice. The game lost a couple of high-profile developers, including game director Luis Barriga, possibly in connection with the sexual harassment lawsuit that’s dogged the company for more than a year now. While Overwatch 2 finally got its release date, all we know concerning Diablo IV is sometime in 2023. Hopefully, like the GTA VI leak, this event won’t impact development.