Blizzard Entertainment once considered bringing its Diablo franchise to Nintendo's GameBoy portable, according to David Craddock, author of the upcoming Stay Awhile and Listen series chronicling development of the iconic franchise.
An excerpt provided to Shacknews reveals that following the release of Diablo II, Blizzard North divided into multiple development squads. One immediately began work on the Lord of Destruction expansion, another was tasked with brainstorming new ideas, and a third began work on "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," he said.
According to Craddock, Diablo Junior was planned as a single-player-only prequel to the original Diablo, and was even expected to resemble Nintendo's Pokemon series. Ultimately, the game was shelved due to "steep production costs" associated with handheld games, he said.
"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," he said. "Heroes started in a unique town before heading into dungeons and wilderness zones."