... But Is It Now Open To All? [UPDATE]
Some interesting news has just hit the internet courtesy of Blizzard and some observant Reddit posters. While Blizzard has announced an end date for the Diablo III beta, it appears that everyone can now access it regardless of whether they received an invite.
UPDATE: The Diablo III Beta has been temporarily taken down to "resolve an issue." This issue, perhaps?
First things first. The Diablo III beta shutdown date has been confirmed for May 1st, so players had best pay their respects to their soon-to-be-deleted characters. Blizzard has thanked all participants for their valuable input in a recent blog post.
We'd like to thank everyone who has participated in the Diablo 3 beta. You've done an admirable job of testing, and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback you provided during this critical phase of development.
However, there may be a twist in the tale. Reddit users report (and confirm) that the beta can now be freely accessed by anyone with a Battle.net account after downloading the client. It's unclear whether this is a bug, though, so be aware that Blizzard may move to stymie the move - and possibly ban users who've accessed it. We're verifying this now, and I'd err on the side of caution at present.
It's plausible that Blizzard have been preparing a to open the beta as part of their continuing "Reveal Dark Secrets" unlock tree. The next unlock is the biggest of all - so could it be an official open beta/stress test? More as this develops, and we can expect an announcement or swift resolution soon.