[Update: Jay Wilson issues apology.]
Just when all the dust surrounding Diablo 3 seems to finally settle back down, another storm inevitably strikes the internet, igniting Blizzard‘s community. The biggest, and still unresolved, issue recently has been the lack of end-game content for players who have finished the campaign. Blizzard did take the time to admit that end-game content was sparse, but also to state that players waiting for a reason to return might not be satisfied anytime soon.
Gamers have had no choice but to accept Blizzard’s response, but a recent interview at IncGamers with one of the creators of the Diablo franchise has stirred up another round of controversy. David Brevik, a co-founder of Blizzard North, and one of the devs behind Diablo, Diablo 2, and its expansion Lord of Destruction, stated his disappointment with the final product that is Diablo 3.
Although he never outright claims that Diablo 3 is a bad game, his statements make it clear that he does not believe the team at “Blizzard South” was equipped to finish the game on their own without the original team:
“When Blizzard North shut down they lost a ton of experience with why the Action RPG works and what about it works. That’s really difficult to recover from. They didn’t have the experience of people that knew it well. This is why you do things with random levels for example, and so when you lose that experience you are going to create a very different experience in the end than we would have created.”
He also gets into specifics later in the interview, expressing disappointment in the loot system, as well as Blizzard’s failure to listen to the community when they had complaints. His final statements about the game are the most incendiary of all:
“I am also a little happy, which I hate to say, it shows that the people that were involved in Diablo really did matter, and so I am happy that it has come to light that how talented that group was and how unique and special that group was. I am hoping that, as this happens very often in the industry, you see it with Call of Duty and things like that , when the people leave the game changes and it shows how critical people are in this industry.”
Needless to say, Diablo 3‘s lead designer Jay Wilson, along with several other members of the Diablo 3 team, were unhappy with Brevik’s interview. Chris Haga, Diablo 3′s lead artist and skill designer, posted the link to the interview on his Facebook page prefaced by the quote, “Suddenly I feel like I was just thrown under a bus.” The conversation that followed included two more Blizzard employees, Jill Harrington and Jay Wilson, clearly upset with Brevik’s comments:
Both Jay Wilson’s comment on Haga’s wall and Harrington’s approval of said comment have since been removed. It is sad to see two groups previously working for the same goal fighting publicly over a game that should have been a celebration of everyone’s work on the series. The blame game has been going on for quite some time now, but has never quite reached name calling until now, at least publicly.
How do you Ranters feel about David Brevik’s interview? Was he out of line comparing Diablo 3 to Call of Duty, or did the current Blizzard team overreact? Let us know in the comments below.
[Update: This Diablo 3 story continues…]
Follow me on Twitter @JacobSiegal.