GOG.com has announced a deal with Blizzard Entertainment to bring selected titles from the company's back catalogue to its digital distribution platform, starting with action role-playing game (ARPG) classic Diablo.

Released back in 1996, Diablo's atmospheric isometric environments and accessible yet surprisingly deep gameplay saw the game outdo Blizzard's modest expectations: The company thought it might sell 100,000 copies at best, which it increased to 500,000 following pre-launch buzz; by the time the title went out of print, it had sold more than 2.5 million copies. Since then, however, the game has been near-impossible for fans to find - and, even if a second-hand copy could be tracked down, extremely difficult to run on modern systems.

GOG.com, in a move which hearkens back to its origins as Good Old Games, aims to solve that with a deal that has seen Diablo added to its digital distribution platform - complete with patches which allow a windowed mode and high-resolution compatibility and multiplayer support outside Blizzard's Battle.net system.

'We were bummed that these iconic games weren’t available to our players, so we're very happy to work with the crew at GOG.com to rectify that,' explains Rob Bridenbecker, vice president and executive producer at Blizzard Entertainment. 'This has been a long time coming and we hope our players will be excited to jump back into these classic titles.'

'Crawling through the original Diablo's dungeons, together with Blizzard, is a feeling of pure excitement,' adds Oleg Klapovsky, senior vice president at GOG.com. 'It's a personal thing for many of us, and the most wished-for game in our community. Taking the first few steps beneath the Tristram Cathedral, listening to the guidance of Cain the Elder - it's all coming back, for old souls and newcomers alike.'

The GOG.com build of the game includes both the original 1996 release in its last v1.09 patch form, plus the polished edition with Windows 10 compatibility and better high-resolution display support. It does not, however, include compatibility with any non-Windows operating systems.

Diablo is only the first game in Blizzard's back catalogue to get the GOG.com treatment: The companies have confirmed plans to release additional titles, including real-time strategy (RTS) classics Warcraft: Orcs and Humans and Warcraft II, in the near future. In the meantime, Diablo is available from GOG.com now at $9.99 (around £7.63 inc. VAT).

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October 14 2021 | 15:04