Fans lash out.
Diablo 3’s director, Jay Wilson recently quit the team to work on something new within Blizzard. Wilson shortly posted a goodbye message to the fans on the Battle.net forums, and it got a bit ugly, since keeping the negative reception of Diablo 3 in mind, the fans started reacting a bit aggressively.
The thread, which contains more than a hundred pages, has plenty of messages attacking Wilson personally, saying all kinds of stuff. Blizzard CCO Rob Pardo has taken a stand to put a stop to it.
“This thread saddens me greatly,” said 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 am very proud of the Diablo franchise and what the team was able to accomplish with Diablo II,” he continued. “As a gamer I have enjoyed the game and played for many, many nights with friends and family. I’m not, however, going to use that as an excuse. The Diablo community deserves an even better game from Blizzard and we are committed to improving it. We have a talented team in place and have no intention of stopping work on Diablo III until it is the best game in the franchise.
“I’m the only person in this thread who has actually worked with Jay. 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 with his feel for visceral combat, boss battles, and an unparalleled knack for making it fun to smash bad guys. 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 and I guarantee that you will enjoy Jay’s game designs in future Blizzard games.”
“If you love Diablo as much as we do, then please continue to let us know how you feel we can improve the game,” he appealed. “If you still feel the need to dish out blame, then I would prefer you direct it at me. I was the executive producer on the project; I hired Jay and I gave him advice and direction throughout the development process. I was ultimately responsible for the game we released and take full responsibility for the quality of the result.”
Seriously, constructive criticism is okay, but when people take it to an entirely new level, where they attack the developers personally, it gets a bit too much. Recently, BioWare complained of the same.