Diablo 4 Began Development As A “Souls-like”

Diablo 4 Began Development As A “Souls-like”

Yes, Diablo 4 is in development. And thus concludes your No Shit Update of the Week. Indeed, the news that Diablo 4 is being made shouldn’t blow your hair back with shock. However, a recent and expansive investigation by Kotaku has brought to light its rocky development. From management concerns to cancellations, Diablo 4‘s development is rife with surprising changes. In fact, it apparently started out as something akin to a Dark Souls-inspired dungeon crawler.

Kotaku’s Jason Schreier spoke with 11 current and former Blizzard staff members about Diablo 4. All of these confirmed that the game is definitely in development. The current version, code-named “Fenris,” sounds like the wish list of every old school fan. Dark, “gross,” and removed of any “cartoony” aesthetics, the team’s aim is now to make Diablo 4 the Diablo II successor that so many wanted.

Diablo 2

What’s more interesting to me, however, is what could have been. The original build of Diablo 4 was shaping up to be an over-the-shoulder dungeon crawler, according to the report. Led by Reaper of Souls director Josh Mosqueira, the impetus of the game was to make an action-RPG much like Dark Souls. In fact, the game looked so “not Diablo,” that Blizzard even considered calling it something else entirely.

The macabre love child of two of my favorite franchises was sadly never meant to be. This title was cancelled two years after starting development in 2014. According to the report, the reason for the cancellation is unknown. Mosqueira did leave the company in 2016, so his departure may have had some effect.

Recycled Goods

On the other hand, Blizzard has made a history of salvaging greatness from disaster. After all, one can’t remark on the success of Overwatch without mentioning Titan. Billed as the MMORPG successor to World of Warcraft, Titan failed to meet expectations and was canceled. Blizzard recycled characters and themes to create the massively popular Overwatch.

The current iteration of Diablo 4 reportedly goes back to basics. It will revitalize the dark and frightening look made popular by the originals, while maintaining the isometric camera angle. However, the report does mention an unexpected twist on the formula. Apparently, the team is aiming for a more social experience. Instead of going back to a town on your own, the burg will be a sort of hub town with other players shopping, trading, and forming parties. The philosophy behind the idea is to give it a more Destiny-like feel. But it’s still early in development, and with a possible release within two or three years, things could still change.

diablo immortal gameplay
Blizzard may have never planned to reveal Diablo 4 this year. Instead, it unveiled Diablo: Immortal. It didn’t go well.
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  • Cam Woolsey

    Cam has been shooting for high scores since his days playing on the Atari 2600. Writing about video games since 2005, Cam has also worked with GameSpot, GamesRadar, and PlayBoy.

    • Mac

      I’m sorry but I call this a complete bullshit. After the disaster that diablo immortal was, all of a sudden we get these “leaks” now?, Supposedly saying how great the game is, and its everything fans ever wanted. So during all those 6 years we haven’t heard a single thing about new diablo, and out of nowhere we get these rumors now… yeah right. Its nothing more than damage control, they know that they are becoming the next EA, so they they need to restore their reputation and say “oh we are the good guys see!”. There is no diablo 4 or anything in development (well apart from mobile games of course), if they would have something solid, they would at least announced something in Blizzcon, but they didn’t. This is nothing more than “she said he said”, if anything the next diablo game will be Diablo Immortal 2 Shitty Wizard DLC Edition, unlock the next skill for only 0.99!!!. They canceled Blizzard north version of d3, had all the money, resources, talent and time in the world to gives a game we always wanted, but instead gave us a complete crap that d3 was. Why people are so naive, and think that after all these years they can change something or make something great, they can’t!. Its not the old Blizzard who used to make great games, they have a complete corporate culture now and zero desire to make something creative. Everything has to be a quick cash in!, and you can tell that in all of their latest games (loot boxes, skins, and other trash). All of they key employees have left the company there is nothing left, except greedy Activision executives.