An upcoming book entitled Stay A While and Listen by David Craddock is a history of Blizzard Entertainment concocted from interviews with nearly 80 former employees of the company. The book is due for release on October 29, but the author has revealed to Shacknews one of the cancelled Blizzard projects that came up in his research – the Game Boy Color version of Diablo the company dubbed “Diablo Junior”.
After Diablo II, the team split into several groups – one worked on the Lord of Destruction expansion, while the others were to throw ideas around for new IP and new games. One of these projects was a portable prequel to Diablo, intended for either the Game Boy Color or Game Boy Advance:
“Diablo Junior was intended as a single-player-only prequel to the original game. Taking a page from Pokémon’s book, the team wanted to release three cartridges, each packing a different hero in the warrior-rogue-sorcerer vein as well as items that players would have to trade for in order to collect. Heroes started in a unique town before heading into dungeons and wilderness zones. Diablo Junior was ultimately put out to pasture (absent of cow levels, I’m sure) because of the steep production costs associated with developing handheld games.”
A second expansion, following from Lord of Destruction, was also planned, with the focus to be shifted onto the game’s multiplayer features such as a guild hall. The second expansion was quickly scrapped to start work on Diablo III, as the team had felt Diablo II had run its course.