Rumor - Diablo 2: Resurrected Coming Later This Year
There is a rumor circulating the internet that a potential Diablo 2 remaster is slated to arrive later this year. This rumor originates from sources which are cited by Actugaming, a French gaming website. Because of the nature of this rumor, everything should certainly be taken with a grain of salt, but it's worth mentioning that Actugaming's editor predicted the Shadowlands, Overwatch 2, and Diablo 4 announcements before BlizzCon last year.
The report states that Vicarious Visions, a subsidiary of Activision, is working on the remaster. Vicarious Visions' recent work has been on porting the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Destiny 2 to PC, so it stands to reason that working on a remaster is well within their skill-set; however, Blizzard already has an internal team working on their older titles called the Blizzard's Classic Games division. This team has been tasked with working on restoring and remastering the classic Blizzard titles, such as StarCraft: Remastered and Warcraft III: Reforged. The Classic Games division has also been responsible for supporting Diablo III with ongoing updates for some time now.
It would not be unheard of for Blizzard to outsource work on a remastered project, as they did with Lemonsky Studios for the art production of Warcraft III: Reforged, and it's possible that the Classic Games team has outsourced work on Diablo 2: Resurrected to Vicarious Visions in an attempt to speed up production. There have been rumblings of a possible Diablo 2 remaster for many years, but most of that hype has been generated by fans who wish to experience the classic game with modern graphics. David Brevik, one of the designers responsible for creating Diablo and Diablo 2, suggested in a Diabloii.net interview a few years back that Blizzard would "have their work cut out for them" and that he doesn't believe many of the assets survived when asked about the likelihood of a Diablo 2 remaster. This doesn't mean that the project would be impossible to complete, but suggests that it would be a challenging undertaking for those involved.
This report also suggests that Diablo 2: Resurrected would be releasing in Q4 of this year, the same quarter that World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is set to release. Releasing two games in the same quarter isn't unheard of, especially from two separate teams within Blizzard, but a Q4 2020 release seems unlikely for various other reasons. Warcraft III: Reforged was met with extensive disappointment from fans when it launched due to excessive bugs, inconsistencies in art quality, and the roll-back of plans to remaster many of the old in-game cinematics. Blizzard would absolutely want to avoid the same mistakes made with Reforged, especially in regards to a Diablo 2 remaster. Additionally, we've heard nothing official on this potential project at this point, suggesting that the game may be further out than rumored--if it's in development even to begin with.
Realistically speaking, this is currently just a rumor, and while the possibility of Diablo 2: Resurrected is exciting, logic suggests that we keep our hype levels at a minimum until we get an official announcement in the future. If we were getting this game in Q4 of this year, it's likely that we would have heard about it at last year's BlizzCon; however, if Blizzard wanted to give the Diablo IV announcement the spotlight it deserved, it's possible that they would have planned a Diablo 2 remaster announcement around this point in the year. With the current global situation, it's possible that any potential announcement was pushed back even further, which leads us to believe that we won't see a Diablo 2 remaster this year.
There's certainly a lot of excitement around this rumor, so be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments!