Diablo creator and king of all things dungeon crawler David Brevik tells PCGamesN that he wouldn’t have taken the same approach to the iconic action RPG game series as Activision Blizzard has, but that the company’s new hellish IPs are still something to be excited about.
Brevik is credited as the brainchild of the popular ARPG, serving as president of Blizzard North from 1993 until 2003, as well as being lead programmer on the original Diablo game, then project and design lead on its sequel.
Given how much Diablo and the gaming landscape has changed since the good ol’ days of hack and slash chaos, I asked Brevik how he felt about the direction Blizzard has approached the series with – especially given the controversy surrounding its most recent entry, Diablo Immortal.
“Well, it wasn’t the direction I would have gone in, but I don’t have any choice. I left Blizzard and it is their IP so they can go the directions they want to go in,” he says. “I think they have done a good job with Diablo and I look forward to new products in the IP.
“I think it is really difficult when people compare Diablo today with Diablo 2,” he continues. “Firstly, people have a tendency to look at Diablo 2 through rose-coloured glasses, and it makes it hard to compare any new product to something that people remember so fondly.
“Secondly, games have changed so much in the 20 odd years since it came out; competition, the number of products, maturity of the industry, game-theory education, all sorts of factors make it harder to make something ground-breaking.”
He tells PCGamesN that the Diablo Immortal microtransaction route also wouldn’t have been “the direction [he] would have gone in,” but doesn’t think that its woes have tempered the excitement around Diablo 4.
“Diablo still has a ton of goodwill in the community. People love the IP and the stories. Diablo 3 changed a lot from launch and has a huge following; millions of people have played and enjoyed Diablo 3. People seem to really like Diablo Immortal as well, and though there are disagreements about the business model, the game seems to be doing quite well.
“Lastly, new Blizzard products still have a rabid, dedicated fanbase,” he states. “They are always big events and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.”
Brevik recently announced that he would be joining the XD Inc. team as consultant producer on Torchlight: Infinite, the successor of Torchlight 2. Currently available in early access on Steam, players can dive into the turbulent world of Leptis on PC and mobile.
Torchlight is one of the best games like Diablo out there, alongside the likes of Path of Exile. If you’re still grinding through the woeful world of Sanctuary though, we’ve got a rundown of the best Diablo Immortal builds here to help you out.