We reported earlier that Vicarious Visions has been merged into Blizzard Entertainment. While GameIndustry.biz’s sources failed to disclose what the team was working on, Bloomberg has published a follow-up claiming that Vicarious is developing the oft-rumored and long-overdue remaster of 2000’s legendary hack-and-slash title, Diablo II. The modern update of the classic, which will reportedly be called Diablo II: Resurrected, is also said to involve members from Diablo IV’s development team.
“Blizzard, the maker of games like World of Warcraft and Overwatch, has traditionally developed most of its games in-house,” Bloomberg wrote. “But in recent years, the Activision publishing arm has taken a stronger hand in Blizzard’s operations. Vicarious Visions, based in Albany, New York, has been working with Blizzard since last year on the Diablo franchise, including a planned remake of Diablo II, people familiar with the plans said.”
The revelation is part of a larger report about how Blizzard dismantled its classic games team, Team 1. This happens to be the same party responsible for huge hits such as Heroes of the Storm and StarCraft II. Unfortunately, the criticism levied against Team 1’s latest game, Warcraft III: Reforged, damaged its reputation so badly that Blizzard ended up reorganizing it.
“Until last year, the Diablo II remake was set to be developed by Blizzard’s Team 1, part of the company’s Irvine, California, campus that had become known for reworking classic games,” reported Bloomberg. “Its most recent release, in January 2020, was a remake called Warcraft III: Reforged. The title was poorly received due to glitches and missing features, earning 59 out of 100 points on the review aggregator Metacritic — the lowest score a Blizzard game has ever gotten.”
It’ll be interesting to see how Diablo II: Resurrected turns out based on previous reports, which suggested that the game would be extremely difficult to remaster due to various hurdles such as missing assets and source code.