Would you have played "Diablo" on your GameBoy? According to David Craddock, author of the upcoming “Stay Awhile and Listen” series that takes us inside the development of the celebrated franchise, Blizzard once had plans to develop a Diablo title for Nintendo's handheld!
An excerpt from the book provided to ShackNews suggests that after the release of "Diablo II" the development group was split into several different teams. One, of course, went on to begin work on the Lord of Destruction expansion and another was tasked with brainstorming new ideas. While that was happening some developers formed teams of two or three people, working on proposals for “smaller projects.”
“One of those was given the working title Diablo Junior, a game tentatively planned for the Game Boy Color and/or the Game Boy Advance, depending on market share and other business-y factors,” says Craddock.
"Diablo Junior 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.”
What?! Pokémon-ish Diablo on the GameBoy? That's crazy talk! Really makes you wonder what other awesome projects go on behind the scenes, doesn't it? Anyway, turns out the project was eventually scrapped because, at the time, production costs for handhelds were just too steep.