Diablo III game director Jay Wilson is stepping down from the lead position on that game. He wants to pursue something new within Blizzard.
Wilson made the announcement in a blog post on Battle.net.
“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 wrote. “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 worked on the action role-playing game franchise for seven years. Prior to its release, Diablo III was one of the most anticipated game releases of 2012. The title initially appeared to live up to the hype, but some players gradually grew frustrated with its always-on digital-rights managements, its real-money auction house, and its lack of end-game content.
Wilson wanted fans to hear it from him before they started seeing headlines about developer Blizzard looking for a new director for Diablo III, which it is.
“We’re looking forward to finding this person and hearing what kind of fresh ideas they can bring to the table,” wrote Wilson.
The director then wrote about Diablo III’s development, release, and the user reaction:
I’m proud of Diablo III, and despite our differences at times I will miss the community that has formed around it. 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.
I know some of you feel we fell short of our promise to release the game “when it’s ready.” While we’re not perfect, we try to make the best decisions we can with the information and knowledge we have at the time. 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.
This is what you can always count on from Blizzard: that we will stand by our games and make every effort to continually improve them over time. We heard the feedback and suggestions from the community. For example, we agreed that Diablo III’s itemization at launch was not good enough, so the team made numerous changes, including changing drop rates, re-tuning legendaries, and adding scores of new items to the game. We also agreed that the end game needed more depth, so the team added new events, and new systems like Monster Power and Paragon levels.
Our commitment to making our games as good as they can be is what has always defined Blizzard as a game studio, and that commitment never ends for us at a ship date. With your help, we’ll continue to play, debate, and improve Diablo III, as we’ve done with every Blizzard game.
Since Diablo III’s May release, Wilson and Blizzard worked to elaborate on its end-game content. Fans felt like they didn’t have a lot of incentives to go on playing once they had completely leveled up their character and beat the game on the highest difficulty. Blizzard agreed with those complaints but struggled to address them.
In August, Wilson made headlines when he responded to a Facebook post about Diablo-creator David Brevik’s criticisms of the third game with: “Fuck that loser.”
Wilson later apologized to Brevik.
We’ve contacted Blizzard and will update with its response.