Diablo III game director steps down

Longtime developer Jay Wilson leaving game after seven years; will transition into new role at Blizzard in the next few weeks.

After seven years working on Diablo III, Jay Wilson is leaving his post as game director for the dungeon-crawler. Wilson announced the news today in a blog post, noting the time is right to move on to a new project within Blizzard Entertainment.

"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," Wilson said. "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."

Wilson made clear that his departure from the Diablo III development team "will not negatively impact our ongoing support of Diablo III." He said there is "lots" planned for the future of the game and that he will make himself available to the development team during the transition period. A new game director for Diablo III has not been announced, though Wilson said Blizzard is eager to find a replacement and learn what "fresh ideas they can bring to the table."

Wilson said he is proud of Diablo III and will miss the community that has formed around it, though he did admit his relationship with fans was not without its faults.

"I feel I have made many mistakes in managing that relationship, but my intent was always to provide a great gaming experience and be as open and receptive as possible, while still sticking true to the vision the Diablo team has for the game," he said.

Wilson also acknowledged that many may believe Blizzard fell short of its promise to release Diablo III "when it's ready." He said Blizzard always tries to make decisions based on information and knowledge present at the given time, though this is not an ideal situation.

"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 said.

Wilson ended his farewell note saying there are "great things" in the pipeline for Diablo III in 2013, though he did not specify what these might be.

"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," he said.

Diablo III launched in May 2012, was a top Google search for the year, and has sold over 10 million copies to date. The game shipped without its player-versus-player mode, and it does not appear this feature will be added anytime soon. Wilson said in late December that Diablo III PVP is stalled, noting Blizzard is going back to the drawing board to conceive something better.

For more on Diablo III, check out GameSpot's review.

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274 comments
Soldierskw
Soldierskw

sorry when he said receptive as possible I thought he said repetitive as possible

N0tYrBeezin
N0tYrBeezin

I feel that the gameplay is so yesterday! Something that is fun 10 years ago does not mean it will be fun 10 years in the future. This game is just so stuck in the past and unable to move forward.

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

all my buddies were so excited for this game, most dont even know each other, and many of them had still been playing d2.

But 6 months after d3 was out, only a single buddy was still playing it, and hes the slowest dude in the pack.  Happy i decided to wait on this one lol. 

KingofCabal
KingofCabal

There is a reason why D3 Failed,  Diablo never really was a Blizzard IP. See below:

"Blizzard North was originally an independent company. It was established in 1993 under the name Condor, founded by Max Schaefer, Erich Schaefer, and David Brevik. The company was purchased and renamed by Blizzard about six months before the release of their hit PC game, Diablo."

herodotus2006
herodotus2006

His departure might actually positively influence the team. I've read nothing but bad thing s from this guy, and put him in the same league as Bobby Kotick, not something to be proud of when all is said and done in Videogaming History..

haedrianz
haedrianz

f blizzard ... i dont give all the blame to him but he represents what blizzard became those last 7 years .. those last seven years of pride and fat money making from their last outstanding game WoW... since then blizzard changed into a lame company in the image of Jay wilson.. ok sc2 wasnt bad, but it still never been the same since back in the days... At least one good news of the week though, 7 years working on the worst possible direction and attitude for a given in a silver plate title , shame to the legacy of diablo  ====> get out. 

128demon
128demon

so he is going to ruin another blizz title......cool......

Megid0
Megid0

this dude has no shame at all..."7 years of development" (bullshit) and all of a sudden he decides to drop the pvp, then quit, i wish i could punch him in teh kidneyz for great justice

Elem3nt
Elem3nt

Well let's hope whoever replaces  him can do something about fixing the giant crapshoot that is D3.

commander1122
commander1122

hire north blizzard team back and Remove AH....than....we talk

Riddick123
Riddick123

"The powers that be at Blizzard have been gracious enough to give me that opportunity"  So basically they said we won't fire you.  Nice of them.


RedEyedMonster8
RedEyedMonster8

I'm probably going to get flamed but I honestly don't care. I perfectly understand people being disapointed in the game at launch (because I was), but Blizz have done a great job supporting D3. Drop rates have been improved, inferno difficulty has been finetuned, introduction of monster power, paragon levels etc. Unfortunately most players who were burned out on launch haven't played the game since then and don't know what it's like now. 

D3 is still extremely active, lots of people play. It's one of the most streamed games on twitch.tv and is in the top ten most played games on xfire. You can get a group in less than a second. I wish Jay luck on the rest of his future projects.

cheamo
cheamo

I can't believe it took so long to develop that piece of crap.

nurnberg
nurnberg

Diablo 3 is a great game.  Thumb this up.

megakick
megakick

Thats a good sign, Not. People jumping ship less people to develop D3.

Dullgarian
Dullgarian

"Longtime developer Jay Wilson leaving game after seven years; will transition into new role at Blizzard in the next few weeks." 

Me: Janitor? :D

yanni1
yanni1

Good riddance.

Now please stay away from any project/game I am interested in.... Including Titan.

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

"Diablo III game director steps down" Had he ever stepped up? Seriously his "work" was pathetic, 7 years to build an 8.0 game, imagine what he would do in 2 years? pre-alpha of an 1.5 game? I shall take note of his name not to buy a game he directs in this lifetime.

Grbonjic
Grbonjic

 I enjoyed playing D2 a lot and will never forget it. One of the guys spoke about making D2 with new maps/levels/audio-visuals ! I think that's a great start for a new ( real ) D3. Dissapointment in public on D3 game could lead us to a new MEGAHIT. There's a whole bunch of developers that can resolve this in serving us a plate full of fresh fruits. So guys, I think it's about time someone sees this opportunity and polish D2 ! 

We would be very grateful ...

veryfrost
veryfrost

Hell its about time..

Actually you should leave 7 years ago.

Acid_Kenobi
Acid_Kenobi

Sooky pricks. We all bought D3 and played the shit out of it. Will it ever top replayability like D2,... no way.

carolino
carolino

GET AWAY FROM THE OTHER PROJECTS!


community hates you so bad you coward unprofessional bastard.

jhcho2
jhcho2

1. For those who are ignorant, game directors always move on to new projects. Jay may or may not have moved on due to being forced down, but how many people here actually think that game directors stick to one game forever? Frankly, I'm surprised he was the D3 director for this long after release.

2. The way D3 turned out does not fall squarely on Jay's shoulders. If Steven Spielberg directs a movie which is supposed to be a Tim Burton movie, which resulted in the movie not looking like a Tim Burton movie....who do we blame? Steven Spielberg? Or the damn studio which decided not to let Tim Burton direct the movie? Are we forgetting that Blizzard laid off the entire Blizzard North division? The entire D3 team was essentially the WoW team. Jay is an RTS director. What we have now as Diablo III could have been the best that team and director could have done to come as close to the original two Diablos. You want the original Diablo, you need the original creators. Blizzard laid off those guys. Blizzard is more to blame than Jay for how D3 turned out.

vishisluv7
vishisluv7

@KingofCabal Yep, the same Brevik Wilson called a loser. The man who built the franchise, which allowed Wilson to sell the steaming pile of D3 in the first place. We all know the sales were based on Brevik's team's creation, once people got a look at what Wilson had dropped in the bowl, everyone knew he was no Brevik.

How utterly humiliating for Jay. Good.

KingofCabal
KingofCabal

@haedrianz WOW was the reason for Blizzards fall. It is what changed them from a company who made brilliant new IPs into a company that only slowly tried to milk out their existing ones.

Evilbunz
Evilbunz

@commander1122 and go back to spamming trade channels until you found a buyer for an item right?? The good old d2 days that took years to sell items

haedrianz
haedrianz

@RedEyedMonster8  the succes is based on the hype and some blind fans that are still true to their screwer... eventually they ll drop as well.. 60$ for this ? 60 $ ?? for this ? Npcs having 2 sentences to say over and over... have you played other games the same price lately ? take Gw2 and see how much content they get you with a 60$....  this is not the old blizzard when you could click on warcraft 3 every npcs and they would give u all kind of sh*t jokes forever .... it just shows how much it wasnt polished. 

Sardinar
Sardinar

@RedEyedMonster8 Sure, they've done a great job supporting a game that's not Diablo. The whole problem surrounding it is making a game that has nothing in common with Diablo I/II and calling it Diablo III. Get it?

Blizzard can support their 'Diablo III' however they can, as long it has almost none of the mechanics Diablo I or II had - there is no reason to judge that it got any better. 

AlmaDanny
AlmaDanny

@RedEyedMonster8 8 months after release the game has already sold over 10mil copies amazing. He also contributed a lot to WoW's success and now moved onto another undisclosed project at Blizzard. Good for him.

Kooken58
Kooken58

@cheamo of course, it took several years to work out the legal matters of RMAH, the rest of the game took about a year prolly :P

emperiox
emperiox

@nurnberg This isn't Youtube, I can't thumb your crappy comments up. ;]

Sardinar
Sardinar

@Reuwsaat Most of Blizzard's development is polish. Diablo III's fate was sealed in it's first few years of development - rest of the time was spent polishing a mediocre game, pretty much. 

Sardinar
Sardinar

@carolino He is an RTS developer, I'd let him develop RTS - just not Diablo. 

hilikus00
hilikus00

"What we have now as Diablo III could have been the best that team(BLIZZARD NORTH) and director could have done to come as close to the original two Diablos."

"Blizzard is more to blame than Jay for how D3 turned out."

aesir05
aesir05

@jhcho2 So what happened to them? These the guys who made TL2?

AtheistPreacher
AtheistPreacher

@Sardinar 

D3 is still an isometric action game, still a loot-focused game, and still provides multiple classes and a wide variety of skills for each of those classes to choose from.  In short, it IS still a Diablo game.   Until you explain yourself better you're just blowing smoke.

jhcho2
jhcho2

@Sardinar @Reuwsaat  I think that's a key point. 'Polish'. Blizzard's culture is condusive towards polishing a game to be a good game. A good inspiration for a game combined with that polish results in a great game. The inspiration of what was once Diablo left with Blizzard North. Diablo 3 is a polished game which has lost its soul. Not to be confused as a bad game, like many people here pretend to claim.

Acid_Kenobi
Acid_Kenobi

@aesir05 @jhcho2 If I'm not mistaken a fair few are now making a game called 'Path of exile'. Its well worth checking out..

hilikus00
hilikus00

@aesir05 yes, BLIZZARD NORTH. The ones who made TL2. And the others I think are in Gazillion Entertainment making the Free-to-Play MARVEL HEROES an MMO Action RPG and I think maybe the rest is at ARENANET? the one who made Guildwars 2.