One of the pre-BlizzCon 2019 rumours was that Blizzard was planning to announce a D2R Items Remaster, but that did not happen. The company did, however unveil Diablo IV to much celebration from fans following the low welcome to Diablo Immortal announcement a year prior.
The Schaefer brothers and Brevik created the first Diablo at their independent studio Condor which Blizzard purchased shortly before the launch of the original Diablo in 1996. Erich Schaefer stated that the buyout was not a better time because Condor was in dire financial problems. He told me that the studio was barely making ends meet and didn't have enough cash to pay for some of its taxes.
"We did not pay our payroll taxes. They are the taxes we take from our employees, and we're required to forward these to government officials. The tax was never sent at the request of government agencies," Erich Schaefer explained. "We were almost out of money. One morning we go in and find a note in our day which reads "Three days to pay or you're going to go to jail.' It was very rough. It was really scary. We found a way to raise some cash (to pay the taxes) Then, fortunately, the deal that turned us into Blizzard arrived at the perfect time to save our stomachs."
During the panel, Max Schaefer revealed that Condor was signed to release the first Diablo in the amount of $300.000. That was "woefully insufficient." He claimed that the studio at the time, was "always completely out of money," which was very stress-inducing. It's no surprise that the financial stability that an acquisition by Blizzard could offer was attractive to the team. They eventually would later develop Diablo in addition.
The first Diablo was a success beyond all expectations. The Schaefer brothers said they envisioned buy D2R Ladder Items selling 20.000 copies that would be enough for an sequel. The game , of course, sold more copies than this, and helped create the ARPG genre, which is now extremely well-known in the present.