Message from Jay Wilson

Message from Jay Wilson
Jay Wilson has made the decision to part from the Diablo 3 team. Here's his official statement.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hey everyone,
I wanted all of you to be some of the first to know that I've made an important decision about my future, and how that decision will affect the future of Diablo.

I recently celebrated my seven-year anniversary working on Diablo III, and while it’s been one of the most challenging and rewarding periods of my life, I've reached a point creatively where I'm looking forward to working on something new. The powers that be at Blizzard have been gracious enough to give me that opportunity. Over the course of the next several weeks, I will be moving off of the Diablo III project and transitioning elsewhere within Blizzard. This decision was not an easy one for me, and not one I made quickly, but ultimately it’s what I feel is right.

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.

To that point, you shouldn't be surprised if you see a job posting for a game director on Diablo III, as we want to make sure we explore every opportunity to find the best possible leadership for the project. We’re looking forward to finding this person and hearing what kind of fresh ideas they can bring to the table.

I'm proud of Diablo III, and despite our differences at times I will miss the community that has formed around it. 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.

This is what you can always count on from Blizzard: that we will stand by our games and make every effort to continually improve them over time. We heard the feedback and suggestions from the community. For example, we agreed that Diablo III's itemization at launch was not good enough, so the team made numerous changes, including changing drop rates, re-tuning legendaries, and adding scores of new items to the game. We also agreed that the end game needed more depth, so the team added new events, and new systems like Monster Power and Paragon levels.

Our commitment to making our games as good as they can be is what has always defined Blizzard as a game studio, and that commitment never ends for us at a ship date. With your help, we'll continue to play, debate, and improve Diablo III, as we've done with every Blizzard game.

To that end, patch 1.0.7 is underway, the PTR is live, and there are many other great things brewing for Diablo in 2013. I’m leaving Diablo III in good hands, and my departure will not jeopardize the progress of the game as we continue to do what we do: listen, play, and improve.

You are the most passionate, dedicated group of gamers a designer could hope to have. I wish you all the best, and want to thank you for making this an amazing experience for me. Keep your axes sharp, your spell books handy, and that crafty devil in check.
--Jay

Comments

  • #41 nickblame
    Farewell Jay, goodbye now, solong, astalavista, antegeia. Who would have thought that we would have such a good director to blame for ALL the things that are missing from D3. Only you will not be missing from now on. LESS players in the game???? NO PVP???????? don't get me started on the lack of team vs team. Every correcting move was a step back to D2. In terms of sophistication D3 is for brain dead 7 year-olds (in other words the farmer's/botter's love.) no stats no skills no nothing. I can whine for days so.. the departure speaks for itself.
  • #42 tommos
    Quote from overneathe

    Quote from Benegesserit

    Well, sure. Any genius is welcome to have bad ideas during the planning stages.


    Is this a reply to me?

    I don't know about planning stages, but two of the leads on the game agreed and the whole other part of the team disagreed. Looks like if Blizz didn't take control of Condor the game would've just continued the way they started it. Condor even tried protesting over the phone with Blizz, but the decision was final and they didn't like it. :)

    Point I'm making is not all good decisions came out of North. And by all means not all good ones were from Blizzard (likely). So far the only real successful game from ex-North employees is Torchlight (Arenanet has no North employees from what I recall). Two of the "Big Four of North" are there - the Schaefer brothers. They're doing absolutely great and kudos to them. Dave Brevik is making a Marvel MMO, after his journey in Flagship, then Ping0, then Turbine was unsuccessful and Bill Roper made Champions Online after which got hired by Disney.

    The others from North that left formed Castaway and fell to bankruptcy some years later. :/


    Whatever happened they still made Diablo 1 and 2. That's fact. Whatever disagreements that happened during development is irrelevant because the end product was so good. Jay Wilson and Diablo 3 however...
  • #43 overneathe
    Quote from tommos

    Whatever happened they still made Diablo 1 and 2. That's fact. Whatever disagreements that happened during development is irrelevant because the end product was so good. Jay Wilson and Diablo 3 however...


    You seem to have completely missed the part where I said Blizzard made a lot of the decisions for Diablo 1 and 2. Especially after the games went heavily into development. What we're seeing now is about the same leadership (talking producers and executives here) that were on top of D1 and D2. The only people that left were the ones that wanted the turn-based style Diablo, for a game that is so popular nowadays for its action. All the other guys are still on the team - producers, game designers, level designers, sound designers, story, hell even the music is from the same guy.

    The most major component of the game - the action, was introduced by the same people that are in Blizzard today. And Jay Wilson does not call all the shots. Seriously, I know it's hard to imagine a flat development team, but all decisions in Blizzard are mutually agreed upon. Even the GAH and RMAH were called upon by the same people that were head of the first 2 games. It's a financial decision to which Jay has no word, except for the implementation.

    Honestly, the first thing the guys did when they were "freed" from Blizzard, by quitting themselves, was Hellgate London. Why is this so overlooked? Nothing was stopping them from creating the absolute best RPG out there. Something to blow the entire market away. What happened?
  • #44 nickblame
    @overneathe there's a difference between having a hardcore team on turn based and tweaking that into a well balanced action rpg with the D3 phenomenon where we have an rpg for braindead farmers and bots. Any1 remember the MU? Same stuff. Garbage.

    Yes they called the shots, maybe the same people. They missed this time. Bummer.
  • #45 Slayardarklaws
    Quote from overneathe


    Honestly, the first thing the guys did when they were "freed" from Blizzard, by quitting themselves, was Hellgate London. Why is this so overlooked? Nothing was stopping them from creating the absolute best RPG out there. Something to blow the entire market away. What happened?


    Hellgate London was pretty good in my humble opinion. I wish D3 was a bit more like it. If Hellgate london failed, it wasn't due the core gameplay - which was very enjoyable. It was because of the business model they chose ( suscription based online service and new content only available for suscribers ) and probably too much ambition and relience on their reputation as ex-Blizzard developpers.

    And I think D3's success is somehow mitigated because Blizzard has made some of the same mistakes that Flagship studio made for Hellgate london ( except it still worked better, because it's Blizzard and Diablo )
  • #46 Zek
    Quote from Lydeck

    Quote from Zeyk23

    That said, I think Jay had an incredibly difficult task. The expectations for D3 were well outside the realm of reality. And the worst part about it is that nobody knew exactly what they wanted - D2 was flawed in a lot of ways and should certainly have been improved on, but very few games have ever done it, certainly not to the extent that people wanted. I think a lot of the controversial decisions they made did work out very well, but they still failed to foresee a lot of missteps at launch and Jay is accountable for that.


    I'd disagree with this.

    The expectations that fans had were very much attainable, but it was a complete swing and miss because of the development team and leaders. From the very start the development team had a very off putting attitude towards their fanbase. It reminded me of whenever they were explaining their rationale behind the stat points being automatically assigned, and essentially they said, "We just don't think it's fun to do that kind of stuff." when it came to manually assigning stat points.

    They always had a "We know what fun is more than you people do." attitude about them. Just about everything in the design choice for the game came from this misguided sense of self importance. They know better than the fans. They know better than the team that worked on Diablo 2. They went away from a proven formula because they thought they knew better, and it bit them in the ass.

    I mean when it takes you over a year to have *any* PvP at all when it was expected near launch is inexcusable. Again, they claim because it's not fun. They've obviously been great standard bearers of fun thus far (that's sarcasm, for anyone that can't tell) and are once again telling us what is or isn't fun.

    It wasn't until I played Path of Exile that I realized how much of the charm of D2 was missing from Diablo 3. Here I am playing an indie game that feels like a building block of Diablo 3 (can you imagine that game with Blizzard's resources/manpower?) This isn't a plug by any stretch of the imagination, but there are aspects from that game that literally build on what was in D2 and makes it better, and I find myself wondering why Blizzard couldn't just do something like that rather than sitting there trying to reimagine everything. Just about everything right down to the art style has just lost it's identity from Diablo 2, and it's a real shame.

    Diablo 3 is a fun enough game in it's own way, but it has no staying power. It's not fun over long periods of time, and everything from the itemization, the auction house, the skill system, to the game mechanics itself are either sub par or feel off.


    Game design is not a democracy. It's the job of a game designer to make the tough decisions for the good of the game. This is nothing new, the D3 dev team has been more open than most from the start(that's why these discussions even happened in the first place). Besides, you make it sound as if the fans were a united front clamoring for stat point distribution, but they aren't. I was happy to see stat points go, along with a number of other things from D2 like skill specs, potion chugging, etc.
  • #47 nickblame
    Well it is true that games like d2 (which was the outburst of d1) don't come from bussiness models or good shots. They're a bit random like pure art. Many things coinciding. Wasn't Diablo2 THE game that transformed blizzard to a rocket? (no IMHO it wasn't WOW).

    So we can't blame any1 for D3 failing. Its just that they could have played it better like with starcraft2 which is more humble of a sequel. No big steps. No simplification for the masses. They didn't even include the hero stuff from warcraft3.
    If they had gone with the remake-new graphics-small changes scenario I believe the community would be happier and they'd still make their millions.

    @Zeyk23 they took all the fun out of the game. Making a character different step by step by leveling and not from buying rares from RMAH is FUN. All the way to level 99 you try to make your difference. Everything is the same with D3. No chars, no stats, no skill choices nothing. Hardcore is pointless in this setup and personally I was tricked when I saw hardcore being there from beta. I thought I'd find all that interest and yet it was only there for being there. No pvp no special builds no suprises.
  • #48 sweatshopkids
    Quote from overneathe

    Quote from Diablak

    Hes been fired, GREAT!


    No, he hasn't.


    yep
  • #49 lorien1973
    Inevitable.
  • #50 brx
    Quote from st0rmie

    Quote from Diablak

    Hes been fired, GREAT!


    lol, he steered Diablo III development into being the top-selling PC game of the year, and as a result, Blizzard have tasked him with replicating that success on a new title.

    ahaha good one xD
  • #51 brx
    Quote from overneathe

    Quote from tommos

    Whatever happened they still made Diablo 1 and 2. That's fact. Whatever disagreements that happened during development is irrelevant because the end product was so good. Jay Wilson and Diablo 3 however...


    You seem to have completely missed the part where I said Blizzard made a lot of the decisions for Diablo 1 and 2. Especially after the games went heavily into development. What we're seeing now is about the same leadership (talking producers and executives here) that were on top of D1 and D2. The only people that left were the ones that wanted the turn-based style Diablo, for a game that is so popular nowadays for its action. All the other guys are still on the team - producers, game designers, level designers, sound designers, story, hell even the music is from the same guy.

    The most major component of the game - the action, was introduced by the same people that are in Blizzard today. And Jay Wilson does not call all the shots. Seriously, I know it's hard to imagine a flat development team, but all decisions in Blizzard are mutually agreed upon. Even the GAH and RMAH were called upon by the same people that were head of the first 2 games. It's a financial decision to which Jay has no word, except for the implementation.

    Honestly, the first thing the guys did when they were "freed" from Blizzard, by quitting themselves, was Hellgate London. Why is this so overlooked? Nothing was stopping them from creating the absolute best RPG out there. Something to blow the entire market away. What happened?

    They lacked Metzen (morhaine?) as a writer, and I am sure many other people as talented as him at blizzard. When you think about it, all sarcasm aside, what a terrible idea to lay off the original diablo developpers. As it was to release d3 with such itemisation. There is something happening at blizzard for many years now, and it smells baaad.
  • #52 overneathe
    Quote from brx

    They lacked Metzen (morhaine?) as a writer, and I am sure many other people as talented as him at blizzard. When you think about it, all sarcasm aside, what a terrible idea to lay off the original diablo developpers. As it was to release d3 with such itemisation. There is something happening at blizzard for many years now, and it smells baaad.


    I partially agree. But Metzen was responsible for killing off Cain in the manner that many fans did not like. As I said, not all good decisions came by Blizz by all means. But Metzen was the one that wrote the story for D1 and D2 and it was, in my opinion, universally praised.

    Some things just happen to be great and no one man is the worst or best developer responsible for it.

    Oh and they weren't fired by the way, they quit. They were invited to continue working within Blizzard but were not fond of it.
  • #53 brx
    Quote from overneathe

    Quote from brx

    They lacked Metzen (morhaine?) as a writer, and I am sure many other people as talented as him at blizzard. When you think about it, all sarcasm aside, what a terrible idea to lay off the original diablo developpers. As it was to release d3 with such itemisation. There is something happening at blizzard for many years now, and it smells baaad.


    I partially agree. But Metzen was responsible for killing off Cain in the manner that many fans did not like. As I said, not all good decisions came by Blizz by all means. But Metzen was the one that wrote the story for D1 and D2 and it was, in my opinion, universally praised.

    Some things just happen to be great and no one man is the worst or best developer responsible for it.

    Oh and they weren't fired by the way, they quit. They were invited to continue working within Blizzard but were not fond of it.

    George Lucas wrote the first trilogy, but it hides the simple truth he was massively inspired and assisted by people that help him make or not make certain pivotal choices. When thoses people left he was not able to fill the scenario with the proper details and attention it needed to become alive. We can safely say Lucas did not have much to do with the writing of the first trilogy, as Metzen did not with d1 and d2. Same goes for SC.

    It is how I understand it at least.
  • #54 overneathe
    Well actually for the first game it was Metzen and 3 of the original North employees. For the second it was Metzen, 1 old, 3 new and 1 developer that is still doing it for D3 with him. For the third it was him, the 1 that continued and 3 new. All 3 were led by Metzen.

    Interesting. :P

    Can't say I'm making any conclusions from it though. :)
  • #55 Lydeck
    Quote from Zeyk23

    Game design is not a democracy. It's the job of a game designer to make the tough decisions for the good of the game. This is nothing new, the D3 dev team has been more open than most from the start(that's why these discussions even happened in the first place). Besides, you make it sound as if the fans were a united front clamoring for stat point distribution, but they aren't. I was happy to see stat points go, along with a number of other things from D2 like skill specs, potion chugging, etc.


    The proof is in the pudding. There's a reason the game is regarded the way it is.
  • #56 trocadero_fuerte
    I dunno who is at fault, but when the team goes 2-14, the coach gets fired. This game looked so damn great in 2010, right after Blizzcon w/ the super crazy fun PvP. Runes as items, Mystic and enchants, saphires and diamonds, Nephalem Cube, soul bound top end gear. And then they went backwards. They tried to be too much like D2. If I wanted a watered down D2, I'd play that crap fest Torchlight. D3 was going to be a better game, and someone got gun shy. Whether it was Jay or someone else, Jay didn't have the guts to stick w/ the good decisions initially instead of iterating the fun out. PvP is in utter shambles. They had separate PvP modes w/ altered stats/mechanics that would allow the designers to balance separately, and they scrapped that. They had so many good things in their hands, and they second guessed themselves to death. Indecisiveness does fault the manager, in the end.
  • #57 Youarefired
    Quote from st0rmie

    Quote from Diablak

    Hes been fired, GREAT!


    lol, he steered Diablo III development into being the top-selling PC game of the year, and as a result, Blizzard have tasked him with replicating that success on a new title.


    The only reason it was the best selling game was because people were waiting for a sequel for many years. It doesn't mean the game was good. It was only until a week (or less) after it's release that people realized this and were pissed.
  • #58 Bisso
    I don't know what to think of this. I am no fan at all of Jay Wilson's work. I don't know the guy, but the decision he took towards Diablo 3 were more than terrible, especially to Blizzard standards. I really hope he doesn't get reassigned on another title as game director. ESPECIALY not titan. In a way, I feel like Blizzard felt like having Jay say good bye and putting him somewhere off the heat for a bit was the smartest move, and I agree. While Diablo 3 isn't doing as good as they would like, they can probably save the game with an expansion that will fix the very bland gameplay.

    Oh well, I don't think I will play Diablo 3 more than I did before, but I am still glad Blizzard woke up and understood Jay just couldn't bring a game with so much espectation up to them.
  • #59 Bisso
    Quote from Youarefired

    Quote from st0rmie

    Quote from Diablak

    Hes been fired, GREAT!


    lol, he steered Diablo III development into being the top-selling PC game of the year, and as a result, Blizzard have tasked him with replicating that success on a new title.


    The only reason it was the best selling game was because people were waiting for a sequel for many years. It doesn't mean the game was good. It was only until a week (or less) after it's release that people realized this and were pissed.


    That's correct. Blizzard just can't be happy with how Diablo 3 turned out. They had Blizzard fans in the palm of their hands. They didn't have to make a good game to ensure a record sale. But delivering a bad game would make fans more aware next time. This is actually a very bad situation to be in. I preordered Diablo 3 collector's edition, my first collector's edition EVER. I bought every Blizzard game on day1 before preorder was a marketing stunt. Now I know I will never preorder a single game, and will wait to see how the game feels before buying it. I will not give my money so blindly next time. Not anymore.

    Everyone I talked of Diablo 3 with share the same feeling about Blizzard, like they lost their touch, simply because Diablo 3 wasn't as good as it could have been. They thought they could do anything about this game, changing every aspect of it every 2 months in front of the fanbase. Add a transaction system, remove gameplay mechanics that were well thought in earlier itterations before removing them so it could fit their new RMAH system. They played with fire and they got burned. I wouldn't want to be in the shoes right now, must be a hard time when you know you aren't the flawless, most perfect, game company in the world anymore.
  • #60 watwatwat
    The hyperbolic treatment that Jay Wilson (and D3 in general) recieves is pretty crazy to me.

    Does/did D3 have issues? A handful of objective ones but most are subjective.

    You are one person and one opinion, there are tons of people who think differently than you. You are childish to demand things of people. It is this bizzare thing you really only see in video games and comics/manga and shit. Nobody is making you buy or play this game. It sucks if you don't like it but that is really tough titties at the end of the day. You can't please everyone and that is really the main issue behind a large majority of controversy surrounding any blizzard game.

    I think for a lot of people it is because what they want is something they really can't get back in the first place, the sense of youth and excitment that came with playing games when they were younger.

    D3 is not a terrible game in any sort of critical manner. The game functions well, looks and sounds nice, offers a substanial amount of gameplay (compared to most $60 games these days), and has added a considerable amount of content and fixes since its release. This is not a bad game. If you think D3 is bad then you really need to play some of the shitty random NES and SNES games that used to exist. Perhaps the overall vision of the game was misguided, but it doesn't make the game terrible or bad. Just because you don't personally enjoy something it doesn't make it a bad thing, its the entire point behind the whole 'not my cup of tea' type thing.

    The D3 team could have certainly done better, but I don't really think you guys understand how stressful, time consuming, and complex software development (especially video games) can be. Especially a game that had been in development for so long and had been changed so many times. They have admirably tried to deliver you what you want and are met not only with no appreciation, but with hatred. Seriously? Its a video game. Jay Wilson is a human. Diablo 3 is his job. Can you imagine if a small mistake at work (which is what this would compare to) was met with public redicule, threats, and a constant spew of vitriol? Its immature and unfair.
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.
Posts Quoted:
Reply
Clear All Quotes