It was not too long ago that the idea of a Diablo II remake was going to be too hard a task. In 2019, Diablo creators Erich Schaefer, Max Schaefer, and David Brevik shared that their backup of the game’s source code and assets were lost during development. Basically, there was little they could do about it. The trio managed to piece everything together so using files developers had taken home. Unfortunately, that meant that plenty of development files were missing. In order to remaster Diablo II, things had to start from the beginning. Indeed, Blizzard had to deal with the loss of assets and the code when making Diablo II: Resurrected.
Yet, things were not too bad. According to Diablo II: Resurrected lead Rod Fergusson and principal designer Rob Gallerani, who spoke to PC Gamer, they were not helpless. Gallerani pointed out the good work done by designer Andre Abrahamian, who managed to wrangle a collection of original assets from some of the developers.
For other areas, Blizzard had to turn to alternate sources. Even marketing stills were in the discussion. 3D models of the Lut Gholein market booths are just but one example. Blizzard was not going to have an easy time with Diablo II: Resurrected.
The duo acknowledged that data losses are nothing new. At the very least, the source code was still intact.
Paving the way
In the end, the original art assets were not as integral to the process. Even with all the material gathered, the team at Blizzard basically remade every single asset for Diablo II: Resurrected. Cutscenes were remade completely. Players also have the choice of switching between classic and modern graphics as a result.
Fergusson added that this was all possible as the original team was still around. With their ideas intact, it was left to the magic of modern technology to do the rest.
More importantly, with the source code intact, Diablo II: Resurrected got a good foundation to start off from. After all, if you are after the authentic experience, there is nothing like going back to the past.