Diablo (YouTube)

Both projects were, perhaps inevitably, hit by cease-and-desist letters over the past two weeks. Shalzuth, who lives in the United States, received his by way of a private investigator Blizzard hired to make the delivery, an obvious intimidation tactic that Shalzuth nevertheless shrugged off during my conversation with him.

“I understand that any big corporation would do that, to help keep them protected,” Shalzuth told Kotaku. “I had some friends over for brunch, so they got a kick out of a [private investigator] knocking on my door. He said people occasionally hire him to find people and serve papers or legal documents, asked for a picture of me holding the documents, and then was on his way. It was quick and cordial overall.”

“At this point, I’m not worried as long as I comply and continue to comply with what Blizzard wants,” he added.


The consequences for Ferib and Shalzuth are both immediate and long-term, starting with the removal of the projects from their respective websites. Separately, Ferib took down a handful of YouTube videos pertaining to his tools, as well as previous work concerning World of Warcraft, while Shalzuth closed the Diablo II: Resurrected channel on his Discord server.

“We acknowledge that a big part of Diablo II’s longevity is the modding community and we appreciate their enthusiasm for the game,” a Blizzard rep told Kotaku via email. “Classic Diablo II and its mods will continue to exist and we’re going to do our best to continue to support the mods for Diablo II: Resurrected as well. That said, some mods are atypical and pose security threats to our games. Security has always been a top priority for us and programs that could pose major security issues will not be tolerated.”


As for whether Ferib intends to continue modding the remaster when it’s officially released later this year, he said a condition of the cease and desist was a complete termination of all development related to Activision Blizzard games. Shalzuth, on the other hand, understood he must only avoid violating Blizzard’s EULA and copyrights in the future to avoid the Eye of Baal falling on him again.

“Definitely, to the extent that Blizzard allows,” Shalzuth said when asked if he plans to mod Diablo II: Resurrected post-launch. “They are planning on real mod support in the future, and if there are gaps in their modding toolset, I do plan to fill those gaps with custom tooling for the community.”