If the recently released re-imaginings/remakes of StarCraft and Diablo have peaked your interest for a Diablo II remake, you might want to start tempering your expectations.
On the Diabloii.net podcast, Diablo co-creator and Blizzard North president David Brevik spoke about how remaking Diablo II might not be as simple as you think.
“They have their work cut out for them,” said Brevik in regards to the work that would go into developing a Diablo II remake. “I don’t believe a lot of the assets survived. I think that remasters are okay, they’re fine, but you have to be really careful with remasters and there’s this delicate balance. For instance, the world of Diablo II is broken up into tiles.”
Brevik goes on to say that the way games were developed back then just doesn’t translate to the modern era. He comments on the way that minor changes to the 3D mapping used back then could force programmers to essentially redevelop everything, which means that remaking Diablo II would essentially require a modern development team to start from scratch and create an entirely new project.
“On a fundamental level that can not be really comprehended unless you’re a programmer that has done this kind of thing before… if they do a Diablo II Remaster, it’s going to be difficult to make it feel exactly like the same game,” said Brevik.
The worst thing about Brevik’s argument is how much sense it makes. Other developers have stated that they shy away from remake discussions simply because they’d rather use the resources to develop something entirely new. Given the apparent amount of work that would go into a Diablo II remake, that’s essentially the obstacle that is preventing Blizzard from updating one of the most popular games ever made.
Never say never in terms of a Diablo II remake, but if Blizzard really didn’t keep up with the game’s assets, then it could be a long time before such a project sees the light of day.