Diablo 3 developer, Blizzard, is known for their passionate tributes to fans, employees, and celebrities. Just last year, Blizzard inserted a new NPC into World of Warcraft memorializing Robin Williams, who passed away last year in an apparent suicide.
Now, Blizzard is doing another tribute, but one that hits a little closer to home. In the upcoming 2.3.0 patch for Diablo 3, the developer will be introducing a new item that pays homage to a former employee who passed away from cancer last year.
The item, known as Kanai’s Cube, is named after an employee named Kevin Kanai Griffith, and can be used by players to upgrade items in Diablo 3. The cube will offer players a range of item customization options, and has the potential to extract a Legendary power from the item.
Blizzard offered these thoughts on their Battle.net blog on naming the Kanai Cube after Griffith:
“His spirit and legacy will always live on in the many games he’s touched with his stunning art, as well as the hearts of every individual who had the honor of knowing him. We miss you, Kevin. This Cube is for you.”
Griffith joined the Blizzard team in 2005 as an artist, and worked on numerous high-level projects with the developer. His work included World of Warcraft’s Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and Mists of Pandaria expansions. He also worked on the accompanying Trading Card Game, before joining the Diablo 3 team, where he worked on the main game and the Reaper of Souls expansion.
Griffith was diagnosed with Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma (ASPS) cancer in 2012, but continued working on Diablo 3 through treatment. In fact, according to Blizzard, Griffith was instrumental in creating the weather and day/night cycles in Diablo 3’s Adventure Mode. Sadly, Griffith passed away October 17, 2014.
Blizzard offered some additional thoughts about Griffith’s work and service, and provided a small look into why the developer felt naming the Cube after him was so important.
“[Kevin] was always an active member of the community both inside the company and out, whether it was by organizing weekly sketch groups, or encouraging his friends to team up and play games together. Kevin was an amazing mentor to everyone around him and a wonder to work with: you couldn’t help but get passionate and pumped about your job when he was in the room.”
What do you think about Blizzard’s tribute to their fallen employee and friend in Diablo 3? Share your thoughts in the comments.