Last week, Blizzard’s Jay Wilson departed the Diablo III team following nearly a year of non-stop criticism from fans of the game. The Blizzard Forums were awash with vitriolic hatred towards the developer, for “killing the franchise”. Early today, Blizzard’s Rob Pardo took to the forums to defend the developer, telling fans that he’s to blame if anyone is.
“This thread saddens me greatly,” wrote Pardo. “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 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,” continued Pardo. “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.”
Pardo concluded by asking the fans that are still playing Diablo III, to contribute meaningful input to the development team, so that they could continue to improve upon the game. “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, the I would prefer you direct it at me… I was ultimately responsible for the game we released and take full responsibility for the quality of the result.”
Diablo III has a rocky road since it’s May 2012 release. Though fan reactions to the sequel did not seem to match up with what critics were saying about the dungeon crawler. Diablo III scored highly from most outlets, but fans looking for late game content and a longer shelf life for the game felt let down by the lack of PvP and lack of reasons to continue grinding away for riches.
Blizzard has continually updated the game over the course of its short life, and have even bigger plans going forward. The introduction of Dueling in the most recent patch, and a bonafide PvP mode are on the way, as well as responses to many of the fan complaints about rare items and more rare crafting projects. The company also recently discussed the potential of a Diablo III expansion pack, as well as a possible release for Diablo III on consoles.