Source: See below.
What we heard: After drawing out last year's reveal of StarCraft II via a long series of cryptic teasers, Blizzard appears to be at it again. Once more, the Irvine, California-based developer is preceding one of its Worldwide Invitational events with a week of mysterious homepage art on its official Web site. Though Blizzard has declined to comment, speculation is rife that the $100-million-per-month company will use this Saturday's WWI in Paris to reveal Diablo 3, the existence of which has been rumored for years.
This time around, the art on the page shows shards of what appears to be a roof of ice slowly melting away to reveal a night sky. In the past few days, said sky has filled with stars and ice flecks that had previously been semi-obscured by a mist. Today, as the mist slowly cleared, two points of light appeared to shine brighter--two points that to many viewers appear to resemble a pair of eyes.
Although the "eyes" theory sounds like wishful thinking among gaming geezers old enough to have developed carpal tunnel playing the 1996 original, it has more than a little merit. The Blizzard diehards over at WOW Insider have posted an extremely convincing visual juxtaposition showing that the two "eyes" are in the exact same position as the eyes on the Diablo II box. The visual overlay leaves no doubt that whoever created today's image intended the two pieces of light to be in the precisely the same location, either to further tease eager gamers or to throw them off the scent. The question is: Which is it?
The official story: "Eyes? There are eyes in that screen? How do you know they're not stars? Or snowflakes?"--A presumably grinning Blizzard rep.
Bogus or not bogus?: Someone in Blizzard's design department is either being semiclever or very cruel. And though it looks not bogus, the world will have to wait until Saturday to know if hell has indeed frozen over.
[UPDATE] On Friday, the Blizzard.com splash page changed further, showing the snowflecks/stars burning much brighter and what appears to be a bony brow above them. The new image leaves no doubt that these are eyes--but whose are they? The ice in the image has many believing the ocular points belong to the titular villain of the World of Warcraft expansion Wrath of the Lich King. However, the Diablo diehards still insist the glowing gaze is that of their demonic nemesis....
[UPDATE #2] Diablo III is now officially official.