Diablo III released: “This launch is a culmination of many years of hard work,” CEO Mike Morhaime says

The last Diablo game was released 12 years ago and the latest installment of the series managed to score more than 2 million pre-orders.

“This launch is a culmination of many years of hard work by our development team, and many years of passionate, dedicated support from gamers around the world,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment.

“We’re grateful for the enthusiasm of our players, and for the help of our beta testers in getting the game ready for release. Now that Diablo III is live, we hope everyone’s ready to have a hellishly good time slaying demons and collecting loot in Sanctuary.”

However, the official launch of the game was plagued by difficulties experienced for over an hour in accessing the servers. The requirement to be online to access the game, even in single player mode, was criticized by the gaming community.

In Diablo III, players fight against the forces of Evil by choosing among five different classes of heroes – barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk, or demon hunter.

Blizzard announced that Diablo III will receive a trial that is similar to that of StarCraft II – a Starter Edition.

The trial will allow users to play Act I up to Skeleton King, to get to level 13 and use the matchmaking together with other Starter Edition players. Of course, users won’t be able to access the Real Money Auction House in the trial.

Diablo III Starter Edition will be available for everyone 30 days after the launch of the full game. As it happened with StarCraft II, a Guest Pass will be included in all Diablo III games.

In addition to this trial / demo / guest pass / starter edition / whatever you want to call it, Blizzard announced that Diablo III will receive Character Profiles shortly after its launch.

You will be able to watch to yours or your friends’ heroes from any page on the Diablo III site using a custom menu. If you are curious to see how people on the forum are doing, you will be able to click on their profiles and see what gear they have or how long they managed to hold their hero alive in Hardcore mode.

The first version of Profiles will include these two elements:

– a career tab which shows you all the heroes, how far you get in the campaign, how many enemies you killed, the name and playtime of your Hardcore heroes who died and so on.

– a heroes tab which shows which equipment you have (including dyes, socketed gems, equipment bonuses etc.), your skills and attributes, your friends’ skills and equipment and so forth.

Blizzard says that they’re also planning to add tabs to artisans and achievements as soon as possible.

Gamers can take a look at the latest trailer for the game available on YouTube since last week.