Even though Blizzard apparently has "no major frontline release" for 2019, but it's still managing to give nostalgic fans something to tide them over.
Today, the publisher released the original Diablo for sale on DRM-free storefront GOG.com. As reported by Ars Technica, the release is almost identical to the original Diablo with a slight quality of life change to ensure the game will run correctly on modern displays. However, an option also exists for a GOG-built, DirectX version that includes more tweaks to improve resolution and other visual settings. It also includes some bug fixes.
The GOG.com release of Diablo costs $9.99 and does not include the game's Hellfire expansion. Blizzard is also planning to release the original versions of Warcraft and Warcraft II on GOG at an unspecified later date. A complete remake of Warcraft III is currently in the works, though all signs point to that one staying firmly on the Battle.net launcher with its modern brethren.
As for why the game skipped Blizzard's Battle.net launcher and opted for another storefront instead, global PR manager Sara Zaidi told Ars Technica that the shift was a necessary one for the game to even function.
"In order to have any [software] on the Blizzard launcher, it must be connected to the modern Battle.net stack," she said. "Unfortunately, this means that some of our older titles, like Diablo 1, do not have that modern infrastructure that enables them to be on the Blizzard launcher. We didn't think it was right that players couldn't get access to these titles because they lack the necessary back-end framework, so we were very happy to work together with GOG to help make Diablo 1 available to our players on their platform."