In this corner: Blizzard's Diablo 3.
- Blizzard released product, supported on Battle.net v2.0 and integrated with all of their other account features
- Continues the lore and storyline left off from Diablo 2 from 10 years ago
- Same style of gameplay, top down isometric rogue-like dungeon crawler with random loot
- The first Diablo title developed in-house under the Blizzard name
In the other corner: Runicgame's Torchlight 2.
- Runicgames includes many of the original designers and producers of Diablo and Diablo 2, who came from Blizzard North -- the company Blizzard bought 6 months before they launched the original Diablo.
- Matt Uelmen is writing the soundtrack, with the same Slovakian orchestra he used from Diablo 1 and 2.
- Online play similar to the original battle.net: free to play, no cash shop or cash based auction house.
- Diablo was never an in-house developed IP for Blizzard; it was acquired and rebranded. All 4 Diablo expansions were Blizzard North products. Blizzard North was closed after the proposed Diablo 3 (circa 2003-2005) was rejected by Vivendi for reasons unknown.*
- Many of the original designers and producers from Blizzard North are now at Runic Games. No one left at Blizzard working on Diablo 3 have previous Diablo experience.
- Matt Uelmen, after doing soundtracks for WoW Vanilla and most of The Burning Crusade, left Blizzard. He's now doing the soundtrack to Torchlight.
- The 'spiritual' successor for Diablo is not Diablo 3, but is Torchlight -- the design ethos, the music, the gameplay, the multiplayer approach, and the lack of 'integration' with Activision's account management.
What's your opinion?
*My guess: Diablo 3 didn't include monthly revenue as their new cash cow WoW did.