Diablo III director steps down

Jay Wilson moving to “something new” within Blizzard

Diablo III game director Jay Wilson has decided to leave the title to pursue "something new" within Blizzard. Wilson announced his departure in a post on the official Battle.Net forums.

"I recently celebrated my seven-year anniversary working on Diablo III, and while it's been one of the most challenging and rewarding periods of my life, I've reached a point creatively where I'm looking forward to working on something new. The powers that be at Blizzard have been gracious enough to give me that opportunity. Over the course of the next several weeks, I will be moving off of the Diablo III project and transitioning elsewhere within Blizzard. This decision was not an easy one for me, and not one I made quickly, but ultimately it's what I feel is right," wrote Wilson.

"The first thing I want to assure you all is that this will not negatively impact our ongoing support of Diablo III. We have lots of things planned for the future, and those plans will carry forward as normal. I also won't be abandoning the team, and will remain available to them during the transition period while we determine who will take over duties as game director."

According to Wilson's post, Blizzard does not currently have a replacement director lined up already. He also tackled some of the criticism leveled at the game.

"I know some of you feel we fell short of our promise to release the game 'when it's ready.' While we're not perfect, we try to make the best decisions we can with the information and knowledge we have at the time. That doesn't mean we always make the right decisions, but if we made a mistake then I feel we've made an exceptional effort to correct it," he wrote.

"This is what you can always count on from Blizzard: that we will stand by our games and make every effort to continually improve them over time. We heard the feedback and suggestions from the community. Our commitment to making our games as good as they can be is what has always defined Blizzard as a game studio, and that commitment never ends for us at a ship date," Wilson added.

"To that end, patch 1.0.7 is underway, the PTR is live, and there are many other great things brewing for Diablo in 2013. I'm leaving Diablo III in good hands, and my departure will not jeopardize the progress of the game as we continue to do what we do: listen, play, and improve."

There's no word on where Wilson is landing within Blizzard, but the company is still currently working on its next MMO Project Titan. The game has no specific release window at this point. During an interview in September of 2012, Blizzard vice president of game design Rob Pardo told Curse Gaming that the game is "in the middle of development" within a team of "over 100 people".

[Image via PCGamer]

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Latest comments (9)

Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games5 years ago
indeed they have made an exceptional effort to correct it. while not perfect, the game is SO much better than launch. the latest patch although imperfect, it is definitely one more step towards the right direction, however, not many people can shake the fact that to them, this felt like half game. however, i should also add, that while the game received so much criticism, it still managed to keep a lot of people despite it, feeling pointless and repetitive at times. that means it is a great game!
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 5 years ago
I have to say it's about time. He single handedly ruined a franchise due purely and simply to greed. The entire spirit of Diablo was lost under his watch. I played it through exactly once and didn't enjoy the last half at all. The auction house was nonsense and the always on connection requirement for what is a single player game was just idiocy!

Clearly WOW has blinded Blizzard to how to make any other kind of game except a subscription MMO. The problem is that increasingly people are reluctant to play monthly for such things. The hard core will be there but, I expect their numbers will decline over the coming years.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 5 years ago
I played the game up to Paragon Level 38 and it definitely has its phases. The early content tourism phase during which you consume the story and monsters die without effort. The leveling to 60 phase, during which you have a bit of gear based grind mostly. The Inferno difficulty, where (nowadays) you learn how to win by having the right build, not just +1 Uberloot. Some nice horizontal progression there and good teamplay. The monster levels afterwards are a welcome challenge, or you bang your head against paragon levels with friends.

All in all, a very diverse game. Problem being that much of the D2 community was groomed to be rather single minded in their approach as to what D3 should and should not do. Sure, sometimes the game could be a little more darker in the same way Dark Souls is. If you farm Act 3 for the tenth time and you get Azmodan's juvenile "answering machine messages of impending doom", it sort of looses its edge.
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Show all comments (9)
D3 is still too small with not much re playability. only the occasional allure of swag beckons :)
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Farhang Namdar Lead Game Designer Larian Studios 5 years ago
Well that's good news for Blizzard!
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Renaud Charpentier Game Director, The Creative Assembly5 years ago
Mmm, I didn't enjoyed D3 but what if game types have an expiration date? What if a given game structure stop being relevant over time and whatever you do within this pattern players won't find it great any more. Zaxxon or Xevious were fantastic AAA in their time but could you redo them as AAA 2D shoot them up? (ok, Ikaruga but it remain pretty niche in terms of market).

Genre and game structure age, or at least evolve... you could say that the extended and evolved version of Diablo 2 already existed and is called WoW... and that you couldn't compete with WoW expectations in the boundaries of D2 design.
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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises5 years ago
Is he leaving Diablo III to work on Diablo IV? :)

I played the demo of Diablo III and really hated it, the world was so repetitive and boring, and even ten years ago the graphics would have been unimpressive. The best part of the Diablo III demo was when it ended.
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games5 years ago
i like the auction house both game gold and real money. And after all, nobody is forcing anyone to use it. (i have made some money too! hehe) the game is repetitive, But how can you blame anyone for that? Diablo is repetitive anyway. Always was.

Yes the original game that launched was limited and super buggy for many many people and even bad when it came to inferno. But many things have happened since then. Monster Power and Dual Bosses with Hellfire Ring and Paragon levels, and with the upcoming 1.0.7 patch the game has become so much better. They did a lot to fix it and doing even more. The only thing that one can say and blame someone is that they should have polished the game a lot more before they launched.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Yiannis Koumoutzelis on 24th January 2013 12:50am

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