Activision is no stranger to speculative game name registrations, taking time out early last year to trademark Drum Villain and Guitar Villain, and it seems like its new stablemate Blizzard is treading a similar path.
A statement on Diablo3.com yesterday indicated that the site was changing its URL to DiabloFans.com at Blizzard's behest, and that it was in the process of transferring the old domain to the Diablo publisher.
Knowing that such an acquisition would send the Internet rumourmongers into overdrive, Blizzard made it clear to mockery, the administrator of the fansite in question, that "this shouldn't be considered an announcement" of Diablo 3.
Blizzard's denial hasn't done much to slow the rumour mill, however, especially given the fact that this year's Blizzard invitational is only two months away. Last year's equivalent event was the scene of the surprise announcement of Starcraft 2, and the Paris event would be an appropriate stage for Diablo 3 to be introduced to the world.
[UPDATE]: A Blizzard representative confirmed the news for GameSpot, saying, "We did acquire the rights to www.diablo3.com. Please note that we regularly secure ownership of domain names to safeguard our intellectual properties, as was the case with this. Regarding any plans for a new Diablo game, as much as we'd like to eventually revisit that universe, we don't have any plans to announce at this time."