Diablo 1 only needed to sell 20,000 copies to break even

The original Diablo from 1996 only needed to sell 20,000 copies to break even, an older talk with Diablo dev David Brevik reveals.

Published Fri, Dec 31 2021 5:41 PM CST   |   Updated Sun, Jan 23 2022 1:13 PM CST

Diablo is one of the best-known franchises on planet Earth, but it wasn't always that way. Back in the day, Blizzard North wasn't sure if the game would break even...let alone make a profit.

Diablo 1 only needed to sell 20,000 copies to break even 666 | TweakTown.com

The original Diablo from 1996 was made on a shoestring budget that only required thousands of sales, not millions, in order to recoup its development costs. According to original Diablo developer David Brevik, the old-school action RPG only needed to sell 20,000 copies to break even.

"If we could just sell 20,000 copies of this game we may be able to make a sequel. That'd be really cool. It'd be a dream if we could make that happen. It went on and it sold really well and everything was great," Brevik reminisced in a stream from 2020.

Fast-forwarding to today and we see Diablo has become a hulking sales behemoth. The series has sold tens of millions of copies and Diablo III had sold 30 million units as of 2015, just 3 years after its original launch. The newly-released Diablo II Resurrected has also moved tremendous volume and is a big shining star in Vicarious Vision's glittering sky of games.

Who knows how much Diablo IV will sell...when it comes out, that is.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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