For seven years(!), Jay Wilson’s name has been synonymous with Diablo 3. But over the next several weeks, he’ll be extricated from its warm grasp and will move elsewhere within Blizzard.
“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,” said Wilson in a frank forum post. “The powers that be at Blizzard have been gracious enough to give me that opportunity.”
“This decision was not an easy one for me, and not one I made quickly, but ultimately it's what I feel is right,” he added.
Wilson was at great pains to reassure fans that the good ship Diablo will continue on without him, and that current development plans from 1.0.7 onwards will be followed through as expected. “The game was not made by one person,” said Wilson, “far from it, and the team that poured their passion and considerable talent into it isn't going anywhere.”
Wilson made reference to the long and tumultuous relationship he’s had with Diablo’s community, but dubbed players “the most passionate, dedicated group of gamers a designer could hope to have”.
“I'm proud of Diablo III, and despite our differences at times I will miss the community that has formed around it,” said Wilson. “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.”
That sounds about right. An intriguing side effect of Wilson’s departure is the job posting for Diablo 3’s game director Blizzard will make public in the coming weeks. What sort of company hires a new director for an action RPG more than six months after its release? Nutters. Brilliant, unprecedented madness.
Do you fancy your chances at the top job? Worth a try, innit?