December 31 marks the 20th anniversary of the original Diablo. Blizzard Entertainment is hosting a minor celebration across all their games with special events, games, and loot.
“Blizzard Entertainment is thrilled to commemorate twenty years of Diablo,” states the news post. “We’re ready to celebrate our passion for the world of Sanctuary and the brave heroes who inhabit it! Here’s to twenty years of loot!”
Each of Blizzard’s ongoing series is celebrating:
- Diablo III – The Darkening of Tristram tribute event. The Cathedral levels of Diablo 1 have been recreated in Diablo III, including some “familiar items.”
- Heroes of the Storm – The weekly brawl will feature a Diablo theme. As with other brawls, playing three games nets you a unique portrait.
- Hearthstone – A Diablo-themed Tavern Brawl, and a new Diablo card back.
- Overwatch – Loot new sprays of the Diablo III classes, and a new Diablo player icon.
- Starcraft II – A new Diablo-themed portrait.
- World of Warcraft – “Strange things are afoot in the world of Azeroth as denizens of Sanctuary cross over into an unfamiliar world.”
No details on when the Diablo event ends.
As far as multi-game events go, this one is pretty weak. New retro content in Diablo III is nice, but the rest are lame. To be fair, Blizzard is also in the midst of their big Overwatch Winter Event, and other holiday events for various games.
Diablo is widely considered the grandfather of the entire Action-RPG genre. It wasn’t the first to define the genre, but it was the first to popularize its loot-driven, fast-paced gameplay. Decades of games have built upon that solid gameplay loop, from Borderlands to Destiny.
Blizzard’s own Diablo II remains one of their most beloved titles. The very long-awaited Diablo III had a rough launch. It was criticized for some jarring changes. After years of feedback, patches, and updates it has been embraced by fans, and become a worthy successor.