Over the course of its existence, Blizzard Entertainment has built a powerful reputation with a wider range of video games than most people might expect. However, there can be no doubt about the fact that most of the video game developer’s success can be attributed to a small number of core franchises. For example, there are both Warcraft and Starcraft, which started out as strategy games but have since managed to become something so much more. Furthermore, there is Overwatch in more recent times, which has become an esport through vigorous promotion. However, no listing of Blizzard Entertainment’s core franchises would be complete without bringing up Diablo, which celebrated its 20th year of existence in 2016.
For those who are unfamiliar with the Diablo series, it consists of three action RPGs from the dungeon crawling genre as well as their three expansions. The first of these video games was Diablo in 1996, which was followed by its expansion Hellfire in 1997. Afterwards, Diablo II and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction came out in 2000 and 2001, while Diablo III and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls came out in 2012 and 2014. While Diablo III: Reaper of Souls came out in 2014, it is interesting to note that content is still being released, with an excellent example being the Necromancer DLC that came out in June of 2017.
Regardless, since it is named thus, it should come as no surprise to learn that Diablo has plenty of angels and demons in its setting. In brief, the video games are set in a place called Sanctuary, which is meant to serve as its name suggests for those who had become tired of the conflict between the angels of the High Heavens and the demons of the Burning Hells. However, Sanctuary is far from being insulated from harm, as shown by the presence of the Three Prime Evils – Diablo, Baal, and Mephisto. Since Diablo is the titular demon of the series, much of the three video games are focused on his efforts in particular, with a stand-out example being how he returned in Diablo II by possessing the player-character who killed him in Diablo.
Why Is Diablo Such a Stand-Out Video Game Franchise?
Diablo is far from being the first video game of its kind. After all, while there is no universal consensus for the first action RPG, such video games have existed as far back as the 1980s. Furthermore, dungeon crawlers came into existence at around the same time, while their sources of inspiration can be traced to even earlier decades. However, Diablo‘s critical and commercial success has helped to make its genre that much more popular, which in turn, has ensured the creation of other video games like it by other parties. Furthermore, since Diablo was so success, it has left an unmistakable mark on other action RPGs, which can still be seen in the present.
For proof of Diablo‘s popularity, look no further than the fact that it was one of the fastest-selling video games in history, with the result that it managed to amass 4.7 million players on its first day. As a result, there can be no doubt about how far the series has come since Diablo came out in 1996. Moreover, it seems clear that the success of the series means that it will continue to shape the action RPG genre as a whole for years and years to come.