On January 20, Diablo 3 Senior Producer Steve Parker announced via Twitter that he's no longer working at Blizzard or on the upcoming PC game. Without specifying a reason for his departure, Parker added that he had a great 5 years working at the studio, and that "those guys are going to [do a great job] with Diablo ."
Later on via Twitter, Parker made references to "bigger and better things" and said that he'll announce what he's doing next through the social website. Yet he still didn't mention anything about his reasons for departure this late in the game's development. That said, eyes are now looking to game director Jay Wilson's official update made on Friday.
As specified in his update last week, the team is making changes to Diablo 3's core systems based on feedback by internal testing and those participating in the closed beta test. These changes include removing the Scroll of Identification, removing the Mystic artisan, removing the Cauldron of Jordan and the Nephalem Cube, and more. Thanks to the update, all previous speculation that the game was nearing completion was suddenly kicked out the door.
"While working on Diablo 3 we've been called out for messing around with systems too much, that the game is good as-is and we should just release it," Wilson said. "I think that's a fair argument to make, but I also think it's incorrect. Our job isn't just to put out a game, it's to release the next Diablo game."
So what happened to Parker? Did he get fed up and simply quit his job? We'll likely not find out until long after the game reaches retail shelves. In the meantime, Blizzard is now looking for another Senior Producer for Diablo 3 here.
"The Diablo III team is looking for a highly organized individual with outstanding communication, and project management skills," reads the job description. "The ideal candidate has prior experience in game development, and has a keen knowledge of how each discipline operates and interacts. Self-direction and follow-up skills are a must, as well as the ability to anticipate production issues, and find effective solutions. The candidate must enjoy seeing a project from inception to completion and delivering games on time with the highest quality."
Diablo 3 is slated for an early 2012 release, but if Blizzard is currently looking for someone to fill the Senior Producer boots, then we may not see the game until 2Q12, possibly later. Cross your fingers that's not the case.