Plus how Pokemon influenced Blizzard.
Blizzard's Diablo franchise is often viewed as a quintessential PC franchise, one that seems destined to head to consoles
. But what if we told you the series nearly came to a portable over a decade ago? That almost happened. In fact, Diablo was actively in development for one of Nintendo's Game Boy platforms.
According to author David Craddock, via Shack News
, who is assembling a book chronicling the history of Blizzard, the publisher was developing a prequel to the original Diablo game for a Nintendo handheld. Titled "Diablo Junior," the game "was intended as a single-player-only prequel to the original game. Taking a page from Pokémon's book, the team wanted to release three cartridges, each packing a different hero in the warrior-rogue-sorcerer vein as well as items that players would have to trade for in order to collect. Heroes started in a unique town before heading into dungeons and wilderness zones."
Development was ultimately abandoned due to steep production costs, before Blizzard even determined what system to develop for (it was debating between Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance). But that doesn't mean a working prototype didn't exist, and footage of that early Game Boy build has apparently made its way to YouTube.