Two veteran developers with leading roles on Diablo 2 are working on an original game at a newly formed studio, Moon Beast Productions.
Diablo 2's lead artist and lore writer, Phil Shenk, has teamed up with the classic action-RPG's lead designer, Peter Hu, to use their years of experience to develop a brand new title.
Moon Beast Productions didn't say what its inaugural game would be, but promises genuine innovation and "all the creativity and deep system design" the developers are known for.
Hu said: "Fans of our previous work will be hoping we stay true to our ARPG roots, and I don’t think they’ll be disappointed, but we are also working on a few big innovations with incredible potential."
Shenk added that the combination of Hu's design and technical skills combined with his own passion for world-building and creativity are "an unbeatable combination".
He also said that building a positive workplace culture is important to the duo. "We’re just as passionate about building and a nurturing healthy, supportive, collaborative team culture as we are about making fantastic games," he said.
Hu entered game development as a programmer and grew to be lead designer of Diablo 2 before going on to form a number of studios. In his 25-year career, Hu co-founded Flagship Studios, Runic Games, and Rhino Games. He was also creative director of Marvel Heroes at Gazillion.
Shenk has been in the industry just as long, and following his role as lead artist of Diablo II he became lead designer on its Lord of Destruction expansion.
We recently called Diablo 2 the 49th best game of all-time, saying it "has a momentum that’s impossible not to be swept up in." We said a recent remaster, Diablo 2: Resurrected, "masterfully preserves the mood of a singular game, and at the same time it preserves the gameplay as it has been for over a decade – mostly for better, occasionally for worse."
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who occasionally remembers to tweet @thelastdinsdale.