Rob Pardo Defends Diablo III Lead Designer Jay Wilson For Design Decisions

After spending seven years developing Sanctuary, Jay Wilson has left his post as game director of Diablo III to move onto other projects at Blizzard. His departure has opened up room at the helm for a new director of Diablo III to fill in his absence.

In addition to the new job posting, eight other openings for Diablo III have been listed on Blizzard’s Jobs Directory. Of note, the Diablo III team is seeking to fill a position for a Game Systems Designer to work on the console version of the game, and a general Game Designer, presumably to develop new content for the game, if not its inevitable expansions.

Jay Wilson’s departure from the team lead to a curiously gleeful response from the game’s community, who appear to be disgruntled by his handling of the game thus far. Blizzard’s Chief Creative Officer Rob Pardo lamented their response. He wrote:

“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.”

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6 Comments on Rob Pardo Defends Diablo III Lead Designer Jay Wilson For Design Decisions

Brad80

On January 18, 2013 at 11:20 pm

“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. ”

But these are part of whats wrong and what went wrong with the freaking game. He got none of that right. So that instinct seems to be way off.

Aedelric

On January 19, 2013 at 12:04 am

If he did a good job, then he would not need defending, would he?

Rob is just standing up for his friend, who wouldn’t? But that friendship colours his vision.

“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.”

That is an impossible thing to guarantee.

max

On January 19, 2013 at 9:23 am

how can some 1 be proud to mave have diablo 3 ?? its an EPIC fail, any real d2 fan will hate diablo 3, How the hell is he proud of that ? seriously that game was the biggest dissapointement ever, from d2 being a game u could play for 10 years to diablo 3 a game you play 3 month’s max, if ur not just playing to make money, which is never why i have been playing video games… i play them for fun, so diablo 3 is an epic fail.

Kevin

On January 19, 2013 at 10:34 am

What’s funny is that had they been paying attention, they could have avoided all of this.

L'Anus

On January 19, 2013 at 11:04 am

At least he’s actually friends with the guy, so you can understand why he’s defending him. The same can’t be said for mindless fanboys who have never met the developers and don’t mean anything to them other than sales figures, yet still ignore any indiscretion even warping them into somehow being positive things on occasion.

Michael

On January 19, 2013 at 6:14 pm

That game doesn’t look like it took 7 years to make and if it did someone messed up big time. The problem is when you mess up a franchise which has happened to all blizzards games they really need something to earn their trust again. First was Starcraft 2 with there separate campaign expansions, next came Diablo 3 with different color Imps and finally Pandas in WOW.

Whats next? TITAN?
Whatever this big project is it has to be something we have never seen before.