Yesterday Jay Wilson stood down as the Game Director of Diablo 3 which was quite a suprise, and following the announcement the community took to forums to express their displeasure with the game aiming most of the blame directly at Jay Wilson.
This evening Blizzard’s Rob Pardo cdefended Jay going as far as saying “I was ultimately responsible for the game we released” and he would rather take the blame than Jay Wilson as he was “ultimately responsible” for the released product.
Diablo 3 is certainly far from perfect and the blame for it’s failure to excite some of the community can’t be placed on one individual. The management, community team and developers, have all played a role in getting the game out the door.
The big problem was the lack of understanding of what the community expected and wanted from the game. The fact that Blizzard didn’t listen to sensible feedback from the community for years and months in advance of the game’s release didn’t help and was a huge failing on their part.
The full statement from Rob Pardo reads:
This thread saddens me greatly. 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 III. 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. 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.