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Diablo 2 Remaster Unlikely - Code and Assets Were Lost According to Creators

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While we all expected the Diablo 2 remaster to be announced at this year's BlizzCon and some rumors even pointed to it, it seems we may not ever get the updated version of the game. According to Erich and Max Schaefer, two of the original creators of both Diablo 1 and 2, the remaster is very unlikely, as a little while before launch of D2, the entire backup of the source code and assets was lost.

Talking at ExileCon 2019, the series creators were reminiscing about the beginnings of the franchise (and genre), and this particular story stood out:

Quote

Not just our code, but all of our assets. Irrevocably, fatally corrupted. - Max Schaefer

It's all gone. We were supposed to have a backup but neglected it. We spent a day or two in sheer panic. [We] finally rebuilt a lot of it through what people had at their homes. I had a big chunk of it. Went home, pulled out the hard drive or whatever we did back then. Spent a few days reconstructing it, which ended up working fine, except that we lost all the history. We lost a lot of the assets, art assets. It would make it very difficult for Blizzard to do a Diablo 2 Remaster because all the assets we used are pretty much gone. They'd have to make them from scratch. - Erich Schaefer

This isn't the first time Blizzard has had troubles with the source code of their games, as Classic WoW is also not based on the full Vanilla code, as parts of it were lost over the years and the update process with new expansions.

This all comes from a Gamespot article covering the talks at ExileCon and also features a great story about the original Diablo's creation, before Blizzard bought Condor, the original developers, and how they were completely broke and wouldn't have been able to ship the game (and might have even gone to jail for tax evasion) if Blizzard hadn't shown up with their offer. Also, they were only expecting around 20,000 copies to be sold for the game to be a success and fund a sequel, which really gives you some perspective as to how things have changed, with Diablo 3 having sold over 30 million copies, and D2 clocking in at around 17 million.

In any case, you should definitely head on over to Gamespot and read the full article with many more quotes from the fathers of the Diablo franchise.

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All good things must come to an end. Now we look forward to the coming titles in the ARPG genre and hope that the competition between "not blizz anymore" and GGG will create something marvelous

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Awwww, crap<

 

(Weird that I can type-in "crap," but not the Kid's Version, that's "Pop" with an extra "o").

Edited by albabe

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With all respect to Diablo creators they don't work for blizz for like 15 years? These can be just speculations. Blizz said they had similar problem with Wow classic but it got released. They really want to remaster those 3 iconic titles and only 1 left. Pretty sure they can do it and I expect announcement at next blizzcon when they finish with Warcraft 3.

Edited by Kaelos

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I also still have hope it can be done. It probably just takes a lot more work.

Despite the grain-quality of the graphics it's aged okay 😛

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That absolutely makes no sense.

https://github.com/eezstreet/OpenD2

That's just one guy. You can just rip the assets* and tune his code a bit and voila you have a neigh 1:1 copy of Diablo 2 with source, but with less bugs.

 

Yes, he's still working on a lot of the code. But just figure that if a hobby project of one person can get that far, then a "whoops we lost the source" of a company that's been making games for decades with top of the line revenue could hardly be cause for a "It'll never happen." Maybe they'll use it as an excuse, but that doesn't mean its impossible - or even hard - to do.

 

* Edit: By that I meant for Blizzard to go and do that, since they own the trademark, not in a general sense. I didn't mean to imply any sort of ToU breach or anything with this.

Edited by Yridaa

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6 hours ago, Lithari said:

'Assets were lost' translation = We want you to play Diablo IV, not a remaster of Diablo II.

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense coming from people that haven't been employed with Blizzard for several years.

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On 11/20/2019 at 5:01 PM, darkinchworm said:

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense coming from people that haven't been employed with Blizzard for several years.

Yeah, even more considering he left Blizzard like 15 years ago or so. Perhaps they could make this remaster, but it would take much more resources than they are willing to spend. It would've been like a remake, partially at least. Also, they want full attention on D4.

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On 11/19/2019 at 6:25 PM, TyZone said:

I also still have hope it can be done. It probably just takes a lot more work.

Despite the grain-quality of the graphics it's aged okay 😛

If anyone was able to make this a possibility it would Blizz.

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