Today is the birthday of something that I am sure all of us used to play back when we were kids: Diablo 2 is turning 20. The action role-playing game produced and released by Blizzard originally launched on PC on June 29 2000, immediately selling millions of copies all over the globe. At the time, Diablo 2 set the record for the fastest-selling computer game ever, reaching an impressive 1m units in the first two weeks after its release.
Diablo 2 was significantly better than the first installment of the series. Even now, it is considered one of, perhaps even the best action role-playing games in history. What is sure is that Diablo 2 changed the tone of the genre forever. It was developed by Blizzard North, which is the Bay Area branch of Blizzard Entertainment. Note that Blizzard has always been based in Irvine, Southern California, so the North branch is less than one state away. In 2005, Blizzard North closed down because of the troubles they had when developing their version of Diablo 3.
There truly was something special about Diablo 2. Its characters and environments were varied, and the game involved class systems and different item categories, which was all brand new and incredibly innovative for the RPG genre back in the day. David Glodfarb, the founder of The Outsiders, wrote about the game extensively. He mentioned that Diablo 2 is the game that he comes back to most often. It is simple, but deep. The loot, the character builds and the different skill trees are all designed smoothly. All in all, it is something that many games try to reproduce, but they simply can’t. In Goldfarb’s opinion, games like Borderlands, Diablo 3 and Path of Exile are amazing RPGs, but none of them come even close to the immersion of Diablo 2.