News is flying around the ‘net that Blizzard has just acquired the Diablo fansite, diablo3.com. It was handed over to them gratis by the site’s owner.

Naturally, this move has stirred up speculation that Blizzard wants the site for an eventual Diablo 3 game, be it stand-alone or MMOG. Some think that Blizzard is just protecting its “intellectual property” rights.

The company, as usual, has little to say about the move. But I have to wonder whether they are, indeed, working on a D3 game of some kind. Because if it was just a “property rights” thing, they sure waited a long time.

According to a post on the diablofans board, the original diablo3.com has been around since 1998. I can’t imagine Blizzard waiting ten years and then suddenly wanting that domain.

Not that I expect any startling announcements from Blizzard in the near future. However, this could be a step towards the eventual appearance of Diablo 3, in one form or another.

Personally, I rather liked D2, except for the awful quit-save feature, and the endlessly regenerating critters. If they do bring out a D3, I’ll be interested to see what they do with the property, all these years later.

At a guess, it might be a MMOG, given how many people are still playing D2 over at Battlenet, and the fact that you can still buy the Battlechest in stores. Of course, for me, that wouldn’t be much good. But we shall see.

Blizzard Takes Over diablo3.com