Diablo III director Jay Wilson announced recently that he's decided to step down from the job, after leading development on the game for seven years running. Make no mistake, Wilson isn't leaving Blizzard. He's just moving away from the Diablo project to work on something else.
Wilson has been at the center of some controversy surrounding the game. Diablo III's reception has been controversial due to technical and gameplay issues along with the slow addition of the beloved PvP mode. During the summer, Wilson came under fire for allegedly remarking "f*** that loser" in regards to comments that David Brevik, one of the co-founders of Blizzard North and creators of the series, made about Diablo III.
Wilson made his farewell announcement via the Battle.net forums, assuring fans that the move wouldn't impact game development. "The first thing I want to assure you all is that this will not negatively impact our ongoing support of Diablo III. The game was not made by one person, far from it, and the team that poured their passion and considerable talent into it isn't going anywhere. We have lots of things planned for the future, and those plans will carry forward as normal. I also won't be abandoning the team, and will remain available to them during the transition period while we determine who will take over duties as game director," he wrote.
As expected, he was diplomatic about the game's reception. "I'm proud of Diablo III, and despite our differences at times I will miss the community that has formed around it," he stated. "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."
With Diablo III's release a little over a year past, Wilson's replacement's task will be to keep current Diablo III players interested in the game while attracting new players. This is no easy feat, considering that Diablo III's principally shaped to be a single player, non-PvP game. With PvP launching with Patch 1.0.7, there's relatively little content that can still be added to the game to re-energize players and player numbers.