Blizzard has posted a job listing for a "Senior Software Engineer, Classic Games," and while that's obviously only relevant to a very small number of people, the reason for the posting is probably of interest to just about all of us: It sounds very much like StarCraft, Warcraft 3, and Diablo 2 are being remastered for modern PCs.
"Compelling stories. Intense multiplayer. Endless replayability. Qualities that made StarCraft, Warcraft III, and Diablo II the titans of their day. Evolving operating systems, hardware, and online services have made them more difficult to be experienced by their loyal followers or reaching a new generation," the job listing states. "We’re restoring them to glory, and we need your engineering talents, your passion, and your ability to get tough jobs done."
The responsibilities of the position are also noteworthy:
- Make gameplay first again on modern operating systems.
- Create conditions for experiences that look as good as they play.
- Own implementation and curation of features new and old.
- Combat hacking to improve multiplayer.
- Diagnose and fix all the things: crashes, deadlocks, overflows, heap corruptions, etc
It think it's fair to say that, World of Warcraft notwithstanding, this trio of games represents the pinnacle of Blizzard's power, during a time when it could do no wrong. And it's easy to forget just how long ago that was: Warcraft 3 is 13 years old, Diablo 2 is 15, and StarCraft is—yowzah—17 years old. That's positively archaic in video game terms, but it's also a testament to just how good they are that the prospect of updated releases is genuinely exciting.
I've reached out to Blizzard for more information and will update if I hear anything back.
Update: In response to my inquiries, Blizzard sent over the following statement: "We need engineers to help maintain our legacy games. We have a history of maintaining our games for many years. Our earlier games are still played and enjoyed today, so we want to continue to maintain them for those communities. We don't have anything else to share at this time."