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There are probably cheers, boos, jeers and looks of puzzlement circulating throughout the gaming community as lead designer for Blizzard's Diablo III is stepping down and backing away from the game. That's right, after seven years Jay Wilson is calling it quits on Diablo....for better or for worse.
Jay Wilson made a long statement about his departure from the Diablo III development team on the Blizzard forums, which is usually where all of Blizzard's major announcements usually take place, stating...
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.
Take note, though, that this does not mean that Wilson is leaving Blizzard or stepping away from the development scene altogether. Quite the contrary. Wilson is simply stepping away from the pain and pride that is Diablo III and putting his “f**k that loser” drive towards a bigger and better project, perhaps that mythical thing known as Titan?
Well, Wilson doesn't necessarily say. He does however pore over the rocky relationship he developed with the gaming community that spawned from poor decisions -- obviously much larger than Wilson himself -- that affected the game in a less savory light, saying...
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.
Following Wilson's letter of departure from the heated, passionate, flaming, warring, committed and overall devoted Diablo community, many supporters, haters, fanboys and flamers alike showed up to acknowledge and give warm goodbyes to Wilson. They wished him well on his future endeavors and turned their attention to the future of the franchise, in hopes that perhaps the one who fills the shoes of Wilson will do so that results in a little less dissension between the development team and the community.