We hear that if you look into a mirror with the lights off and say “Diablo Immortal” three times, the Prime Evil himself will appear and ask if you do, in fact, have a phone. But don’t be too hard on the team behind the game because it’s hardly the first time the franchise has been aimed in an unusual direction. Back around the turn of the millennium, the Blizzard North team was already planning on spinning the game into a portable format with the unreleased Diablo Junior spinoff, in which you played through the universe as a variant on Pokemon.
Of course, at the time “portable format” really meant “on the Game Boy,” since that was the extent of mobile gaming of the era. You most likely did not have a cellular phone. The spinoff idea ultimately died the death of a small yappy dog because the team responsible for the game at Blizzard North never actually pitched the idea to Blizzard’s southern headquarters, and when North was absorbed by the core studio, the project was cancelled. Still, it’s worth considering what the first outing on a portable format could have looked like.