Blizzard offers OS X-native Diablo II installer

When Blizzard Entertainment released Diablo II in June, 2001, Mac OS 9 and earlier were still the dominant operating systems on the Mac platform. Three years later, much has changed: Now Mac OS X is dominant. To better address today's gamers' needs, Blizzard has just released a fully Mac OS X-native Diablo II installer. What's more, a Mac OS X-native version of the installer for another popular Blizzard game, StarCraft, is in development.

This isn't the first time that Mac OS X has been supported by Diablo II, of course -- Blizzard began offering updates to Diablo II and its official expansion pack, Lord of Destruction, back in March, 2002 that would converted existing Diablo II installations to Mac OS X-native versions. But that would have required users to either use "Classic" or have an existing Mac OS 9 system to install the software to begin with. With this installer, developed using Mac OS X's Cocoa application framework, users can take their original Diablo II or Lord of Destruction discs and install the game natively using Mac OS X alone.

Diablo II is an action/adventure game set in a medieval realm populated by fantastic monsters and mythic creatures. You create a character based on Amazon, Paladin, Sorceress, Barbarian and Necromancer archetypes as you seek to defeat the demon Diablo, who has joined forces with other Prime Evils, Mephisto and Baal. With a rich storyline and intricate details and interface, the game has remained a popular pastime with Mac and Windows gamers alike, partly thanks to its cross-platform multiplayer support through Battle.net, Blizzard's own free online game matching service.

Blizzard indicated that the Mac OS X-native StarCraft installer "is in the works" but didn't offer a specific release date; the company indicated that it will post to its Web site home page once it's available.

Much of Blizzard's current Mac development efforts are focused on completing World of Warcraft, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in the same world as its popular Warcraft strategy games, where players create characters based on several different races and skills, slaying monsters, participating in quests and interacting with each other in an online world. The game, currently in closed beta testing, is anticipated for simultaneous Mac and Windows release later this year.

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