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. 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.
Members of Team 1 met to discuss what had gone wrong. Internal Blizzard documents reviewed by Bloomberg pinpointed the game’s failures on poor planning, miscommunication and a rushed release due to financial pressure from management, among other factors. For example, Blizzard announced the game in November 2018 and began taking pre-orders for 2019 without informing most of the development team beforehand, according to several people who worked on Warcraft III: Reforged.
Team 1 wanted to avoid repeating the mistakes of Warcraft III: Reforged on its next project, the remake of Diablo II. Shortly after the postmortem, however, Blizzard pulled that project from the team and put the division behind Diablo IV in charge. A group at Vicarious Visions is also working on the remake, which was known as Diablo II: Resurrected. On Oct. 15, 2020, Blizzard informed members of Team 1 that it was reorganizing the entire division, according to the people who worked on Warcraft III: Reforged.