Blizzard prototyped Diablo in space

"Starblo" was playable, would have taken place in deep space, with players able to customize spaceships and travel across the galaxy.

Following the launch of Diablo II, Blizzard Entertainment considered taking the role-playing franchise to outer space. That's according to author David Craddock, who provided an excerpt from his book Stay Awhile and Listen about Blizzard Entertainment to Shacknews.

"Have you ever finished a round of Diablo and said, 'You know, I bet that addictive slot-machine formula would be a blast in a science fiction setting?'" Craddock asked. "Blizzard North thought so, too. After [Diablo II], the company split into separate teams: a Diablo team and a 'We love Diablo but it's time to try something new' team. They started and scrapped more than half a dozen ideas before a few team members suggested making a Diablo clone, but set on a space opera stage."

According to Craddock, this project was nicknamed "Starblo" by developers. Like Diablo II, it was designed to take place over several chapters, but instead of having players travel across a singular world, "Starblo" would have allowed them to customize spaceships and fly them across the galaxy, killing and looting creatures they found along the way.

Blizzard has produced several playable builds of the game, Craddock said, but a final name for the project was never conceived. It is not clear if Blizzard has scrapped this idea entirely.

Deep space is not the only place Blizzard considered for its Diablo series. Earlier this month, Craddock revealed that the studio had conceived a Diablo game for the GameBoy, tentatively titled "Diablo Junior." It bore resemblances to Nintendo's Pokemon series, but was ultimately canceled due to steep production costs associated with handheld games.

Stay Awhile and Listen launches in early 2013, published by Digital Monument Press.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

0 comments
BrutalPandaX2
BrutalPandaX2

Diablo 3 is excellent if you can think of it as a stand-alone game and not a better Diablo 2 which is what people expected. Diablo 3 gameplay is about killing awesome monsters and having good reflexes while fighting them. Unfortunately, Blizzard HAD to let everybody know that it will have PVP so they would get better initial sales but that's how it works, sorry to the softies but this is an INDUSTRY, these people make the games for themselves, to make a good living and have artistic freedom requires some actions that may seem like selling out if you look at it from the outside in. It's not about Player versus Player and it's not so much about collecting gear because there is no Orgimmar to show it off in. It's about killing the highest caliber monsters and it's not easy with crappy gear. So I like the Auction House because I just want to kill the baddest monsters and have a cool looking character doing it. I don't have time to grind for 20 hours, staying up late, looking at the screen, I'll let somebody else do that for me and then I will give him $1.25 for the sickest Wand in the game and I go make the heavens tremble. So am I doing something wrong by saving 20 hours with $1.25? If it is in fact 'wrong', it will still remain, in fact, 'smart'.

Coco_pierrot
Coco_pierrot

It sounds too much like ... "Rated Arg for Pirate ... fuck you" ( from South Park season 15 episode where Stan turns 10 ). Meaning it is always the same shit over and over again just change caracter or setting and then voilà : give us your money !

dzimm
dzimm

A version of Diablo 3 for the 3DS would be a dream come true.

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

After the Diablo 3 debauchle, I doubt I'll be purchasing any Blizzard product ever again.  And definitely not until the always-online requirement is removed.  Never again.

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

any game that has custom character building, levelling up a character, good random items and loot to collect and is playable online with friends or other people around the world are all a recipe for a good game. just needs to be executed correctly!

Mellowcow
Mellowcow

Just make World of Starcraft and it'll shit money all over the place. :P

wexorian
wexorian

I would be Happy if blizzard revealed some new ip's Yes all  ip's since 1994 WHen blizzard was created  are awesome i'm fan but, WHat they are doing to Wow Is shame they fixed  things in mop but it's 1 month I think they will screw things to bad again. Starcraft 2 game became lame between expansion after 2 month playng. And My favorite Diablo 3, They Crushed what they achived in DIablo 2, D3 is good game But Still there's no replay value with same class over and over with different build, Yes they ha returned Uber boses But It's still grinding only. 

pathosfire
pathosfire

That sounds awesome!  I hope they release it at some point.

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

they should just make World of Diablo next

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

"I bet that [game] would be a blast in a science fiction setting?"

 

Nope... never ever thought that anything would be better in a sci-fi setting. In fact, there are a lot of sci-fi games (like the new X-com for example) that sound great, but the sci-fi setting is the one thing holding me back from trying it.

 

Diablo in space would be a no-buy, no-interest, no care from me.

strawberry9
strawberry9

I think they should have just focused on getting a good Diablo game instead of experimenting with ridiculous things like this. D3 sucked. 

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

haha Starblo

would have been alright..

i would have given it a shot. as long as they still kept making starcraft and diablo games as well as made this.

Master_Vexov
Master_Vexov

Blizzard should be called Activision, the company hasn't ever looked so bad. Althoe I would love a great space game(a casual one, not like Eve/GC2), nothing great comes from Activision.. it would be nothing but a CoD game with no creativity and life in it and it would be milked dry.

eyeball2452
eyeball2452

Blizzard has become a sieve. It's not only bad that they're milking tired brands and essentially cloning their own games now ... it's clear they don't even have any good original ideas in house either.

lunaticrichard
lunaticrichard

I would get the "Starblo " game in a heartbeat ! Make it !!!!!

indio_over
indio_over

Why dont they just make a "World of Starcraft" or shit like that?

Salt_AU
Salt_AU

Was it going to have an Auction House so you didn't have to play the game?

shadow580
shadow580

Diablo in space, lolwhut? Maybe with the right setting and story, it could work. I've seen wackier ideas. Anyway, don't bother reading the comments below, 90% are rants against D3 :)

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

probably would have been better in space then what diablo 3 turned out to be.

rocketcrowbar
rocketcrowbar

Frankly Diablo 2 , Warcraft 3 and Starcraft games are some of the best games i have ever played . Sadly the golden period of Blizzard games is over now . My question to the current Blizzard people . With all due respect why don't you guys start making games for local casinos ? Surely your more recent ventures are all about how much money one can spend to keep playing these game . And then comes moronic online rituals that are hammered mandatory over people's head who just want to enjoy a good single player experience . Nothing less and nothing more . Fat Diablo Guy In Gamespot  nterview : "We never saw Diablo as a single player game"Me : Well then how come it had a "Single Player" option in both Diablo  and Diablo 2 which actually worked without online crap . Why didn't you just keep it the same for D3 no matter what you see / saw diablo as from the ground level . And then auction house . One of the cheapest and greediest stunts ever pulled in the gaming industry . Truth be told we are gamers . Not gamblers . Nevermind .   

Zatto-1
Zatto-1

In space you say? And what about "Diablo III: The Good Edition".

How about that.

Tsuchikage
Tsuchikage

That sounds like a really fun idea for a video game, actually.

SolidTy
SolidTy

I would have bought it, it's a shame this never took off.

poster012
poster012

It doesn't matter what the setting is; I can't take another "slot machine" game. I got pretty burnt out with D3, then Torchlight 2 came along. While I liked the game, the loot system really started to grate on me. I tried Borderlands 2, but I couldn't make it very far. Partially because it was too similar to its predecessor, and partially because I'm so damn sick of random loot games. 

never-named
never-named

Sounds like it could've been the name of a particularly vulgar new Pokemon!

00LiteYear
00LiteYear

I feel the main issue with Starblo would be it needs a good villain. The title Diablo says it all: Good versus evil; end of the world; corruption; etc.

I couldn't take a villain seriously if it's name was Starblo. Hahaha.

Ronaldius
Ronaldius

This sounds like there secret project named; Titan. We all now its gonna be Star Craft Universe. A new mmo where you and youre guild can fly into space and quest on planets.

L0mak
L0mak

If the old blizzard guys made it then I'm sure it would be fun. If it was the current blizzard team then it would be boring, linear, easy to the point of thoughtlessness, and include some way to nickel and dime the player base with micro transactions.

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

 @Master_Vexov Activision bought Blizzard and when it happened is when they started to go down hill and since Activision owns them now I wont be buying their games anymore unless it is a game that I must have which they haven't done one since D2

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

 @Salt_AU If u dont like the Auction House dont use it?!

Play ur game till the end without touching the Auction House ever.

Its a feature and u can choose to use it or not use it if u like..

No point sooking. I bet u use it all the time and just love to complain.

If u dont like the game dont play it, simple.

BludshedX
BludshedX

 @rocketcrowbar Always good to hear other people sharing your own views!

 

Three cheers to good ol' Blizzard North! Hip hip!

Erick
Erick

 @Ronaldius Titan is going to be a new IP sadly won't be in the SC2 Universe, do I put it past them to do something spacey though? No probably not.

KPKeeley
KPKeeley

 @shadowhunter0  @Master_Vexov "I won't be buying their games anymore unless it is a game that I must have.."

Isn't that how people normally approach game-buying? lol

KhanhAgE
KhanhAgE

 @GH05T-666  So, he's not allowed to criticize a feature of the game that he doesn't like?

 

Blizzard fanboies need to lighten up...

rocketcrowbar
rocketcrowbar

 @BludshedX I believe every Dibalo / Diablo 2 fan who had  some expectations building up in his / her belly on the announcement of D3 shares the same views and feelings for Current Blizzard . Personally , reading all those Richard A. Knaak books . Even the Book Of Cain that came out recently . Replaying Diablo 2 over and over with new characters . LAN sessions with 4 friends . Those crazy mods that i got from moddb.com I have so many good memories with the Diablo universe . And Diablo3 completely demolishes everything . 

rocketcrowbar
rocketcrowbar

 @poster012 Its always been the same in a prospective of choices from the available options but not stripping down the options and brainwashing consumers with crap . The future of marketing any genuine product depends on what it offers and how it is better than other similar products . Not chopping off limbs from a blonde's body and then calling her " The Next Sexy Thing ". That's just a load of hogwash .  

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

 @rocketcrowbar  @BludshedX I haven't bought a Blizzard product since Diablo 2 and they way they currently operate I expect that trend to continue for a long time. It's unfortunate because I remember when anything with a Blizzard label on it was a must buy. That was a long time ago.

BludshedX
BludshedX

 @MysticGohan99  @rocketcrowbar  @poster012 TL2 isn't the great D2 revival that so many of us hoped for, but the good news is that D2 has aged well, and will, fortunately, always work! Once Blizzard stops supporting D3 and shut down the servers, it is gone for good. All those items purchased in the real money auction house? Gone.

MysticGohan99
MysticGohan99

 @rocketcrowbar  @poster012 The reason Blizzard went such a rapid direction with D3 and also the reason that the devs never saw Diablo as a single player game, is because it was a completely different staff that had never made a Diablo game before. The fools thought they could be innovative by stomping out dupers and increasing their own revenue by getting in on the take of illegal item buying. Unfortunately they ruined one of the best series out there in the process. If the original Blizzard north had created it (the original devs of D1 and D2) then I think we would have had a lot better of a Diablo experience, one that may have actually gotten people to play it as much as they played D2. But not all is lost. Those devs of D1 and D2, are now the co-owners of Runic Games, which makes the Torchlight series. (Albeit not as fun as D2 was/still is, but better than D3? Absolutely.)