Video games have been around for decades, and they often don’t get the recognition they deserve. They’ve reshaped society as we know it ever since the days of flash card games. You could easily learn how to play Flash card game in the past thanks to web guides and spend your free time effectively. That goes double for crucial games such as GTA, Starcraft, Half-Life, and Diablo, each one a stalwart in their genre.
These genre-defining games, especially Diablo, have forever changed the gaming landscape. Diablo continues to be a game changer for both RPGs and Esports, being an open book on how to build games the right way.
Released in 1997 by Blizzard Entertainment, Diablo was a top selling game that year. It sold more than a million copies and led Blizzard to announce the sequel Diablo II. The video game is based on the premise of a war between Heaven and Hell. While that sounds like a cliché, it attracted the interest of millions of players and quickly turned into a cult hit.
Your goal as a player is to save the town from hordes of demons. The ultimate goal is to reach Diablo’s (the devil’s) lair and kill him. There are 3 different character classes – warrior, rogue, and sorcerer to pick from, which have been expanded in the sequels.
Gamers have spent millions of hours on Diablo, but the impact it had on gaming may have never came if it wasn’t for creator David Brevik. In a 2016 interview, he said that originally, Diablo was a claymation rogue-like video game similar to the arcade hit Primal Rage. It was his intention to release it like that until Blizzard took things in another direction. And rightfully so, since at that point, a star was born.
As soon as he tried the new concept, Brevik knew that it was the right one. Once released, Diablo was a massive smash hit that revolutionized the action genre. Even players who weren’t fans of this specific niche of gaming got on the hype train and are diehard fans today. Many have clicked their way through tens of thousands of hours, which is an incredible amount of time to spend on a video game. That’s how good Diablo is.
More importantly, traces of it appear in modern RPGs. We can safely say that if it wasn’t for Diablo, we wouldn’t have seen many great RPGs and MMORPGs. Diablo clones are always successful, although great studios refine the formula and take it to new heights.
Diablo was a massive inspiration for numerous hit games. We’re mainly talking the two Torchlight games that have been developed by a team built by original Diablo developers. Wolcen, Sacred, and Path of Exile have followed the Diablo formula too. As mentioned, traces of Diablo can be spotted in any RPG, including hits such as Witcher and Dark Souls. The Diablo franchise is a real gamechanger and one of the biggest video games of all time.
Besides breathing new life into a long-forgotten genre, Diablo also helped online multiplayer thrive. It didn’t invent it, of course, but it surely changed things to their core. Diablo was the first game to introduce Battle.net, the famous Blizzard client, into its multiplayer. It allowed people to match with other players online instead of going the LAN way. It showed the industry that multiplayer is the way to move forward, while keeping single player stories exciting.
Even 20 years later, Diablo’s fingers are all around the industry. We can’t even imagine how Esports would look like today if it wasn’t for it. It’s an inspiring game for both developers and fans, and will continue being an inspiration for a long time.
With a sequel confirmed, although with no release date, we’re sure Blizzard will reinvent the genre once again. Diablo III was a smash hit and the fastest-selling PC game in 2012, and judging by the interest generated by Diablo IV so far, it will break that record almost surely.
It’ll be interesting to see which direction the studio takes the franchise in next. So far, four playable classes have been announced, with new ones likely to be introduced. More importantly, Diablo IV should be another genre-defining game in the franchise that will surely move the industry a step or two forward.