He needed to go. I'm not surprised or shocked at all. With all due respect to him his work wasn't good enough. Despite the error 37 launch day fiasco which has nothing to do with him or the quality of the game - the first 8 months of this game is not what Blizzard wanted to deliver and what the fans wanted. As the lead systems designer this is his responsibility to envision the changes that need to be made. While Monster Power, Duels, and Paragon levels are a nice step in the right direction it looks like the higher ups aren't thrilled with his ideas for stats/loot/PvP.
As I've stated in a lot of my recent replies to threads it is most likely an expansion will be required to put this game where it needs to be. Even though an expansion is likely not coming until mid-late 2014 it is no doubt currently under development and these new systems need to be envisioned now. They won't introduce any type of major changes such as the stat system simply during a beta patch. Just like it won't come out in 1.1 or anything like that. The ideas for these systems will likely be in place later this year (as far as internal game versions of the expansion is concerned). Looks like they are looking for a new guy to envision these systems and put this game in the right direction. Good move by Blizzard - it's for the best.
If he isn't getting pushed out by Blizzard I think it is a pretty BS move.
Leave a game that still needs a lot of work and is still pretty early on in its lifecycle?
I am sure they are going to put out an expansion either this year or early next. Does blizzard always use a new head developer for their expansions? It just seems like there should still be a lot of things he would want to improve and add to this game before he gave up on it....
Jay was likable in many ways tbh, but it also felt like he wasn't totally up for he job of leading a big design team, with a loud and dedicated fan base.
Hopefully they find a replacement who is both a A-RPG fan AND skilled at leading a team and getting everyone to move toward a vision.
It sounds like it could be a really good idea to find someone from outside their current team for sure.