It doesn't mean much in this era of live-service games and day one patches, but 'going gold' is still a fun little milestone, and today Blizzard announced that Diablo 4 has officially crossed that line.
"Going gold is a landmark milestone for the incredible Diablo 4 team, who have all worked so hard crafting the next-generation installment of this iconic franchise," Diablo general manager Rod Fergusson said. "This is a concrete, meaningful step toward our June 6 launch.
"Whether players are veterans of the franchise or jumping in for the first time, we can’t wait for everyone to experience the full game: taking part in the incredible storytelling, experimenting with character classes and builds, and exploring what the endgame and the dark world of Sanctuary has to offer."
"Gone gold" is a reference to the good old days of physical media, and basically means that developers have locked down a release version of the game: It's as complete and bug-free as it's going to get, and now it's time to stick it in boxes and ship them to stores. Finito!
Things are different in a live-service world, where game development never really ends. But developers still have to commit to a "ship it" moment at some point, which is why we still have "gone gold" announcements like this one. And it is a pretty big deal, if only because it signifies that the wait is almost over: What's done is done, and cannot be undone—except by post-launch patches, I suppose.
#DiabloIV has Gone Gold. Can you feel her presence now?See you in Sanctuary. 6.6.23 🔥 pic.twitter.com/OGX8oACUCrApril 17, 2023
But the point is that, as Fergusson implied, we can stop worrying about last-second delays caused by some unexpected weirdness discovered during open beta testing: Diablo 4 will 100% be out on June 6. If you played the beta, here's a quick rundown of the changes you can expect in the full release.