[Update: Jay Wilson issues apology.]
Diablo 3 hasn’t exactly earned the same reception as its predecessors. Online-only DRM, new purchase restrictions, lack of end-game content, exploits, a controversial real-money auction house and missing features like PVP after more than a decade of development threw a few dents in what otherwise was a successful PC release for Blizzard, both in terms of sales and critical reception.
David Brevik, one of the founders of Blizzard North and a key part of the development of Diablo and Diablo 2, is currently working with Gazillion Entertainment on their similarly-styled action RPG Marvel Heroes and recently offered his thoughts on the release and response to Diablo 3, a response that certainly didn’t go unnoticed.
In chatting with IncGamers openly on the matter, Brevik said the following:
“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.”
This elicited troll-like responses from current Blizzard North employees Jill Harrington and Jay Wilson which sparked yet another Diablo 3-related controversy online. Seeing a Diablo 3 dev f-bomb a dev of Diablo 1 & 2 is an odd thing to see, to say the least. No wonder it was deleted so quickly from Facebook, but not quick enough for the world to see of course.
Peet Cooper, now an artist for Riot Games, earned the most likes for laying down some maturity and logic in his comments:
And in a response to the matter in defense of Brevik’s opinion, Gazillion offered the following statement to Eurogamer:
“We admire Blizzard and Blizzard games. David was asked about Diablo 3 and gave his honest opinion and we stand by him 100 per cent. Marvel Heroes is David’s vision and is the spiritual successor to Diablo 2.
“We’ll be in closed beta soon, so visit MarvelHeroes.com if you want to check it out.”
Labeling Marvel Heroes the spiritual successor of Diablo 2 is bold, especially for a company unproven in the realm of triple-A releases. We now wonder if Marvel Heroes can live up to the expectations and whether or not its gameplay will be better suited for Diablo players who prefer the old to the new.
If the game wasn’t as entertaining as you hoped, at least this situation partly is. Are you hopeful of Diablo 3 with its upcoming patches and eventual new content, or of Marvel Heroes?
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.