Blizzard's long in development PC action RPG Diablo III gets an external beta test in the third quarter of 2011, the developer has revealed.

CEO Mike Morhaime made the announcement at an investor call earlier today, adding that the development team was doing its best to ensure the finished game makes it onto shelves before the end of the year.

"We began internal company-wide testing last week," he revealed. "The game is looking great and we are currently targeting a Q3 launch for external beta testing.

"The development team is working hard to try and launch Diablo III this year but I want to be clear that we do not have an official release date or window yet. As always we will not compromise the quality of the game in order to hit a window."

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton is Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.