Update Jul 4, 2016: Blizzard have confirmed that Josh Mosqueira is no longer the game director for Diablo and has left the company as a whole.
That's that explained then. The opening of a game director position for Diablo at Blizzard caused some amount of confusion last week as there had been no news on Josh Mosqueira, who had been leading the project since 2013. In an email to Polygon, Blizzard explained that Josh had taken the opportunity of the game being in a good place to leave with "minimal impact on the team."
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Here's their full message:
"With Diablo III in a good place at this point, Josh felt that now was a good time to pursue other opportunities with minimal impact to the team. We'll be filling the director role either from within Blizzard or externally."
As speculated, this could mean a promotion from within rather than an outside hiring. Mosquiera heading away is the third such Diablo-veteran leaving the team in recent months. Associate Game Designer John Yang moved over to World of Warcraft, while ex-Troika Leonard Boyarsky left the company after ten years for Obsidian. Mosqueira's leaving has been greeted with a mixture of fear at the game's future and thanks for his hard work - he's generally regarded as the driving force behind the massive changes that came to the game during and after Reaper of Souls which improved it immensely.
While rumour still springs eternal that Gamescom or Blizzcon this year will see a large reveal for Diablo, there are also those convinced that the game is now in 'maintenance mode' as the company focuses on Hearthstone, Overwatch and Legion, before a sequel much further down the line. We'll find out in just a few short months.
Original story Jul 1, 2016: Whisperings of more Diablo have been floating around Blizzard for quite some time, ever since Reaper of Souls and patch 2.1 revitalised the game into an action juggernaut. Heavy rumour suggested a second expansion pack would appear at Blizzcon 2015, and disappointment rocked the community when it didn’t. Now folks are unsure whether it might be an entire sequel on the way, partly inspired by the various Unannounced Diablo Project job listings on Blizzard’s official site, like the Game Director position that just appeared.
What’s most interesting about it is that it would suggest current Diablo III game director Josh Mosqueira has either moved on from the game/company, or is needed to spearhead the current game for a while. Could the plan be to have both running concurrently, or is the next Diablo project far enough out they don’t want to move Mosqueira over yet?
It’s also possible there are ethical, legal or business reasons to list the job despite planning to give it to Mosqueira, of course, or that he is a candidate as valid as any outside applicant.
It does ask the question of how development has continued for so long lacking a head. Maybe it came under the purview of Mosqueira for a while, but now the team and scale of the project are large enough to need their own director. That would suggest it’s not too far along yet, and we therefore wouldn’t expect to see it at this year’s Blizzcon.
A whole lot of speculation, not a lot else. Here’s the job listing, if you think you’re up for it – the requirements are, as you might imagine, fairly hefty. As for Diablo III, it’s in the middle of a patch cycle, with Season 7 coming soon.