Diablo 3 was originally an MMO

Blizzard's popular hack-and-slash role-playing game Diablo 3 was originally intended to be a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, explaining the internet requirement and the auction house.

Blizzard's popular hack-and-slash role-playing game Diablo 3 was originally intended to be a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, explaining the internet requirement and the auction house.

 
The news was revealed by Max Schafer, former Blizzard employee and co-founder of Runic Games, which now makes the Diablo-esque Torchlight series.
 
“When I was working at Blizzard a million years ago we were working on Diablo 3 and it was an MMO,” Schafer said in an interview with I.Eat.Games. “We were going to do the Diablo version of World of Warcraft.” 
 
The revelation goes a long way to explain why Blizzard requires users to be online for Diablo 3, though obviously piracy prevention was another major motivation, as was forcing people to be exposed to its cash cow: the real-money auction house.
 
wizard casting electrocute large Diablo 3 was originally an MMO
 
An auction house is a typical element of MMOs, including Blizzard's World of Warcraft, and while the real-money element takes it a monumental step forward (or in many eyes: backward), it shows that Blizzard kept a few parts of its intended MMO experience.
 
The MMO plans also shed some light on the substantial development period for the game. It spent a massive 11 years in development, and clearly part of this was due to the change of plans from an MMO to a more typical single-player encounter, with a bit of multiplayer to spice it up.
 
It is not clear why Blizzard changed track, but it was likely a wise move, given the disappointing results of BioWare's recent MMO attempt, Star Wars: The Old Republic, which the studio is considering making free-to-play. Obviously Blizzard's experience with World of Warcraft would have helped considerably with World of Diablo or Diablo Online, but it may also have cannibalised its existing subscriber base. It is certainly interesting, however, to muse about what a Diablo MMO could have been like, and to speculate if Blizzard might deliver one in years to come.
 
At the very least, Schafer has hinted that a Torchlight MMO may be on the horizon.
 
dh vs skeletons large Diablo 3 was originally an MMO
 
Source: I.Eat.Games