Diablo II Resurrected Dev: Folks Deciding If They will Buy It Should ‘Do What They Feel Is Right’

Diablo II Resurrected Dev: Folks Deciding If They will Buy It Should ‘Do What They Feel Is Right’
Image: Blizzard / Kotaku

In an interview with Axios Gaming on September 17, the design director on the upcoming Diablo II remake explained that folks trying to decide if they should buy the game should “do what they feel is right.” Many players don’t want to support Activision Blizzard games after a recent lawsuit made public horrible stories and claims of abuse and harassment mostly targeting women at the company.

Diablo II Resurrected is the first major release from Blizzard since a damning lawsuit was filed on July 20 by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing after a years-long investigation turned up stories of multiple women suffering daily harassment and abuse while working at Activision Blizzard.

Read More: Everything That’s Happened Since The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Was Filed

Diablo II Resurrected was announced back in February 2021, before the lawsuit, and is being developed by Vicarious Visions using the original source code and gameplay of the classic action RPG first released by Blizzard back in 2000. The studio was not specifically named in the suit and has in the past worked on non-Blizzard/Activision titles, but the lawsuit and the fallout that followed have affected the team at Vicarious Visions.

“It was definitely very troubling to hear these types of things,” design director Rob Gallerani explained, “And we really wanted to support our colleagues and our co-workers.”

The lawsuit included horrible stories of abuse and after the suit became public, Kotaku learned of a hotel suite that was reportedly a booze-filled meeting place where many would pose with an actual portrait of convicted rapist Bill Cosby while smiling.

Since these stories and reports have surfaced, numerous former and current Blizzard higher-ups have apologised, with some leaving the company including Blizzard President J. Allen Brack. Games like World of Warcraft and Overwatch have also removed mentions and references to people named in the various claims and the lawsuit. And Activision itself seemed quick to hide its logo and company name during the announcement of the latest Call of Duty.

As a result of this and all the controversy, Gallerani told Axios that Vicarious Visions did a full scrub of Diablo II Resurrected to see if any references, names, or quests needed to be removed or changed. According to him, nothing was found.

After the lawsuit became public and stories of harassment and abuse continued to be shared online by women and men, many players have struggled with buying the companies’ games or boycotting them.

Gallerani’s comments to Axios seem to leave the decision up to players.

In August, Kotaku reached out to employees at Blizzard and Activision about if they supported fans boycotting upcoming games. Some didn’t respond. Others didn’t want their comments to draw attention away from the ABK Workers Alliance’s current demands.

Comments

  • While I agree that the stories out of Blizzard are concerning, I’m not going to stop playing their games. The publicity they’re receiving should be enough to drive change in their organisation, and I quite like some of their games.

    Probably also worth pointing out that Bill Cosby is not a convicted racist. The conviction was struck out in July.

  • It’s worth noting that nobody in the original Diablo 2 dev team (to my knowledge) and nobody in the current Diablo 2 Resurrected dev team were involved in the sexual harassment fiasco.

    • Sure, but those people have already been paid. The people who will be benefitting from your purchase are the people in charge of the company who are the people responsible for this fiasco.

  • Blizzard can expect me to start buying their games again the day their employees have a strong union that secures some basic wins like ending forced arbitration. Until then? Fuck Blizzard. It’s not a big ask.

  • Activision / Blizzard are on my list of ‘treating their player base like walking wallets’ so I won’t be buying anything of theirs until they treat the people who support them with their income as actual people instead.

  • Played D2 original hard with my friends and farming and things and loved every minute of it.

    Tried the D2 resurrection beta and confirmed one thing … while the overlay is nice and pretty its still pretty much same game underneath … yet they feel the need to charge full price for it … so its a pass for me. Had the price been more competitive I would picked it up but for now … nope till its on sale anyway

    • Glad Im not the only one who thought this… i love d2. The QoL upgrades for the most parts were great (though dropping tcp ip is still a really crap decision) but I cannot bring myself to fork out 70 bucks for an HD remaster.

      Whilst there have been remasters priced at full game price its usually because they’re collections. I will grab ressurected eventually but only once the price drops

  • Why does Kotaku write articles about Japanese companies like Sony and Nintendo that hire staff based on notoriously horrid Japanese employment and work practices and not mention that EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

    We can all fawn over Black Myth: Wukong without banging on about how the developer is controlled by a Government that (among a million other things) is testing AI to demine guilt in detained Uyghurs based on the muscles in their face?

    I’m all for reporting on the major industry issues but the relentless Blizzard (and Ubisoft) bashing is a bit much. They have their own sections on your main page!

    • Calling out a company for what a company does is not even remotely the same thing as calling out a company because of what their government does.

      • Normally, yes but I dont think China’s ruling party would agree with that differentiation.

        If the point is to wage a blind and ceaseless moral crusade then why not?

  • I have to wonder how many of heroic gamer heroes on social media who are out there downvoting and copying pasting ‘F- Blizzard’ replies to spam, secretly just buy the game because their actions are less about making a difference and more about entertainment and trying to be edgy.

    Personally, I fail to see how further boycotting a game/s will make a PERSONAL difference to those impacted but these horrible acts, especially given the lack of proof those directly involved in making this game were the worse of the worse. Blizzard is made up of a lot of honest workers, its silly to drag the masses further in rubbish times due to the actions of the few. I say let the law do its job, and lets not demonise their entire workforce with ‘f- blizzard’ rubbish.

  • Yeah I’m pretty sure it’s not the top brass, who have failed to maintain a positive work culture, that will suffer if any of these boycotts actually reach an impactful scale.

    It’s more likely that the devs will lose bonuses and jobs.

    • It’s worth noting that a number of senior management have been ousted so far, and that this will likely continue if they perceive that their bad behavior is continuing to impact sales. Similarly, they can’t withhold bonus’s from rank and file without the buying public raising a stink about it so they’d likely consider that a self-defeating move – while people are paying attention and voting with their wallets, that is.

  • Getting really sick of Kotaku writing about companies like Blizzard & Ubisoft, yet are happy with Amazon, say nothing about them and cash grab all those advertising dollars.

    But this is the new standard.

  • Haven’t had to buy anything from Blizzard with real money for years. I make enough gold in WoW to cruise along on that for buying things like Diablo 2 or even sub time.

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