With the third installment of the Diablo franchise nearing fruition, Blizzard has released what is being called the "opening cinematic" for Diablo III. The trailer first peaked its head out for a public appearance this weekend at the Spike Video Game Awards.

Blizzard is well known for their impressive CGI video. The cinematic sports some very cool illustrative animation and some impressive 3D work toward the end, depicting a scene between two individuals – don't worry, I won't spoil it for you.  For your convenience, the video is embedded below.

Diablo III is set to be the tertiary chapter in the epic hack-n-slash franchise, arriving nearly 12 years after the last installment, Diablo II. The comically long wait has defined very high-expectations, causing some of Blizzard's decisions to enrage fans. Such decisions include requiring the game to authenticate against Battle.net online, forbbiding mods, changing the "look and feel" of the once two-dimensional game and introducing elements from the Warcraft franchise.

There is little question Diablo III will be a hit in 2012, but the game also introduces a potentially industry-changing idea: a central auction house that uses real-world money.  In a sense, the long frowned upon practice of "gold farming" will be no longer be prohibited.

For better or worse, this shift of paradigm injects real capitalism into Diablo III. For players, this could introduce a form of wealth imbalance. However, the same system may also offer everyone a way to subsidize the cost of the game and possibly even make money – or a living – playing Diablo. For Blizzard, a real-world auction system could prove be a gigantic cash cow. Few details are known, but you can bet the gaming industry will be watching closely.

We last reported the game is expected to have an early 2012 release, but no official date has been given.