[Update: Oh! Blizzard told GameSpot it's simply to maintain them. Dreams are always so short-lived. Hey, maybe do consider revamping them though! That would be lovely. Official support for modern resolutions in Diablo II would be a grand start.]
Once a games studio has been around for long enough, different generations of players will each have their own idea of the devs' finest days. Perhaps like many in their early thirties, the Blizzard games I think of most fondly are Diablo II, the first StarCraft, and Warcraft III (which isn't to say I dislike their modern games, of course). If you're in a similar position, good news! Going by a job listing, it looks like Blizzard are planning to tart up those three classics.
The listing - seeking a 'senior software engineer, classic games' - explains the idea behind the job:
"Compelling stories. Intense multiplayer. Endless replayability. Qualities that made StarCraft, Warcraft III, and Diablo II the titans of their day. Evolving operating systems, hardware, and online services have made them more difficult to be experienced by their loyal followers or reaching a new generation.
"We're restoring them to glory, and we need your engineering talents, your passion, and your ability to get tough jobs done."
The job's responsibilities will include:
- Make gameplay first again on modern operating systems.
- Create conditions for experiences that look as good as they play.
- Own implementation and curation of features new and old.
- Combat hacking to improve multiplayer.
All of which sounds like they're working on revamped re-releases, remasters rather than remakes. Some sort of grand Blizzard Throwback Classics Collection or something.
I suppose it's possible that they're planning a series of big patches. Blizzard have always been good about keeping old classics updated: a decade after first releasing Diablo II, they were still adding new things. Still, it's been long enough that I suspect no, probably shiny new updated versions.
BlizzCon is this weekend, so maybe Blizz will have something to say then. Or maybe this plan is a still early enough that they won't say anything yet. Who knows!