Two days ago Diablo 3's game director, Jay Wilson, left the team after a tumultuous year. Although the game was successful both critically and commercially, its fanbase has been in upheaval over its fundamental design flaws, and who better to blame than the man in charge of its direction.
Following the announcement that Wilson has moved to a different team at Blizzard, a high volume of Diablo fans saw it as an opportunity to share their joy with others on the internet, especially on the official Diablo 3 forum. Chief Creative Officer Rob Pardo has been taken back by the cruel posts—some of which have been deleted—, and replied with the following:
This thread saddens me greatly. I know that the Battle.net forums have earned a reputation for rough justice, but I do not believe justice is being served by how people are speaking about Jay’s departure from Diablo III.I am very proud of the Diablo franchise and what the team was able to accomplish with Diablo III. As a gamer I have enjoyed the game and played for many, many nights with friends and family. I’m not, however, going to use that as an excuse. The Diablo community deserves an even better game from Blizzard and we are committed to improving it. We have a talented team in place and have no intention of stopping work on Diablo III until it is the best game in the franchise.I’m the only person in this thread who has actually worked with Jay. I hired Jay to head up the Diablo project and had the pleasure of getting to work with him, both in building the team and designing the game. He has great design instincts and has added so much to the franchise with his feel for visceral combat, boss battles, and an unparalleled knack for making it fun to smash bad guys. I’ve worked with many, many designers at Blizzard and Jay is one of the best. He has a great career at Blizzard ahead of him and I guarantee that you will enjoy Jay’s game designs in future Blizzard games.If you love Diablo as much as we do, then please continue to let us know how you feel we can improve the game. If you still feel the need to dish out blame, then I would prefer you direct it at me. I was the executive producer on the project; I hired Jay and I gave him advice and direction throughout the development process. I was ultimately responsible for the game we released and take full responsibility for the quality of the result.
At this point Diablo 3 is completely designed around its RMAH, and even after eight months of patches the game still lacks the charm that made you want to keep playing its predecessors for months on end. Its PvP system is almost ready to be released after months of delay, and that might be enough to bring back a few vetarans. However, it'll take a well-executed expansion to bring back any sizeable quantity of its lost customer base.
Meanwhile, Blizzard is scratching tooth and nail to deliver a game that can relive the success of its glory days with Warcraft 3, World of Warcraft, and StarCraft; games that set huge precedent in the gaming market. Maybe Project Blackstone/Titan will do the trick.