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.

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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.

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"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.

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