Blizzard hiring new Diablo III art chief

Developer confirms current visual director of demonic dungeon crawler has resigned, but new hire will "maintain the art style moving forward."

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At its Worldwide Invitational in June, Blizzard gave eager fans of its acclaimed infernal dungeon crawler franchise the news they'd waited eight years to hear, officially announcing Diablo III for the PC and Mac. While the news was greeted with unbridled enthusiasm by legions of Diablo fans, the sentiment was anything but universal, and more than 50,000 irate individuals took to the Internet to sign a petition bemoaning the current art direction and its apparent abundance of vibrant colors, verdant forests, and most egregious of all, rainbows.

As first revealed through a job listing posted to the developer's Web site, Blizzard has confirmed that it will be parting ways with current Diablo III art director Brian Morrisroe. However, though the Irvine, California-based developer is searching for a new art director for Diablo III, Blizzard has no intention of changing the current controversial visual aesthetic.

"Regarding Brian, he recently resigned to form a startup technology company (outside the game industry), which is why we've posted about the open position," a Blizzard representative told GameSpot. "This change won't impact the game...we're really pleased with the look and feel that Brian helped create for Diablo III, and the new person we bring on board will work with the other artists on the team to maintain the art style moving forward."

Speaking with MTV Multiplayer last week, Blizzard designer Jay Wilson addressed the unanticipated furor stemming from Diablo III's "cartoonish" art style, saying the entire team was happy with the appearance of the game and that, "There's no going back now." In a follow-up interview, Wilson critiqued the fan-altered screenshots, concluding that the darker color spectrum greatly hindered variety and replayability.

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