Diablo’s former developers even say that the blizzard company has changed completely. - Read Inside

Blizzard is another gaming giant to have fallen out of favor in recent times, even the original creators of Diablo agree. In a new new interview, David Brevik, Erich Schaefer, and Max Schaefer say the company has “completely changed” over the years, and not for the better.

[Speaking to PC Gamer] at the Path of Exile’s ExileCon fan convention, the trio was asked about some of the controversies to plague Blizzard in recent times, which began with the [Diablo: Immortal] reveal last year—a game that was lambasted by fans for being a mobile-only title.

When asked by PC Gamer’s Steven Messner if Blizzard had “sort of changed,” Brevik replied: “It’s not ‘sort of’ changed, it has completely changed.” He added that the only two original developers still at the company are senior art director Samwise Didier and senior vice president Allen Adham.

“The old Blizzard is gone,” Max Schaefer added. “When we quit, there was like 180 employees total. There’s thousands now. The whole empire is different, and Activision didn’t have any influence. At that point it was just Blizzard and then some anonymous corporate owner, Vivendi or whoever. That was it. And so now [Blizzard is] a video game empire that has to appease shareholders and all that sort of stuff.”

The Schaefer brothers said there was friction between Blizzard North and parent company Blizzard Entertainment over the gore and satanic references in Diablo 2, and that as Blizzard found more success, the three original devs struggled to focus on creative design and experienced more corporate bureaucracy.

Messner also asked for the three’s opinion on the Hearthstone ban controversy, in which Hong Kong-based pro player Ng “Blitzchung” Wai Chung said, “Liberate Hong Kong, a revolution of our times,” in a post-match interview, leading to a one-year ban from tournaments. The move resulted in Blizzard employees staging a [protest walkout]

“First of all, sometimes you wake up in the morning and you’re just in a no win situation,” Max Schaefer said. “And I think that, to some extent, that’s what happened with [Blizzard]. There was no clean way out. And I think they kind of bungled it, obviously, but there was no way they were getting through that without some controversy.”

Brevik did add that speculation Blizzard was being pressured by the Chinese government or publishing partner NetEase sounded “like a conspiracy theory.”

In other Blizzard news, the developer has confirmed that the upcoming Diablo 4 will have microtransactions. These will only be for locked cosmetic items, and while it won’t be the first full-price game to feature them, this reveal won’t go down well with fans.

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“Recent” XD it’s like 12 years since Blizzard made a decent game

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Blizzard has completely changed, how Diablo should be. Blizzard North did a good job to make their fans happy. Blizzard Entertainment only care what they want. and not what Diablo fans want. This is WHY it’s a whole new different game. Diablo should stay Diablo, not another WoW mix.

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Blizzard North made a game they wanted to play. Modern Blizzard makes interactive casino worlds. Most WoW devs play FFXIV over WoW lmao

That’s the nature of the business, you start small making games with passion and attention, you achieve success, you grow investors coming in and than you just pleasing them.

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Where is that coming from ?

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It depends, many companies out there start small to get people to love them. Later on they start to get greedy and stop listening to their fans. It shouldn’t be that way!

Investors are one that are greedy, sadly without them business this size cannot work. So the developers have to do everything to please them, assure that company will make money etc. Middle and even upper development will get same salary it doesn’t matter if the game will make million or 50 millions.

The reveal won’t go down well with fans? I’m kinda concerned what that does even mean…

Show me a long time company that haven’t changed? Ubisoft,Blizzard, BioWare,and just how many great companies are no more like jowood for example. Nothing last forever

picture or never happened.

*i dont know about you but i still find joy with playing wow, but i need breaks. no breaks it gets boring.

Very true. Corruption is inevitable in anything operating out of a capitalistic formula, which is everything related to business expansion.

All this talk about the original creators of Diablo 2. About how the former Blizzard North created such a masterpiece with such a small team.

It’s all true, I’ll give you this much. I also agree that AB changed over the years in a massive way.

But you know what? Tell me where these Blizzard North people are today… Have any of them manage to re-produce the Diablo 2 magic or come even remotely close? I’m sure most of them have access to a “Diablo 2.5” capable dev team and yet none managed it.

Point is, everything changed, ex-North or current AB.

Stop banking on nostalgia, and question yourself whether you are still lurking in this community out of seething hatred or genuine concern.

“And seriously, gossip about Blizzard at ExileCon, way to juice Blizzard negativity for more PoE popularity” - my own conjecture and I don’t believe this, but it could be the other side of the story from a pro-Blizzard viewpoint.

Another fact is that Tencent is the current majority stake holder and publisher of PoE. Fans would defend GGG for standing their ground and not letting Chinese influence into their game. But know this, fans also defended Blizzard after the Activision merge, saying nothing will change, Blizzard will always be Blizzard and look where we are today, a decade later.

I don’t intend to come across as a “I told you so” kind of smart ass. I just wish to present you the possibility that: In a situation where you seemingly favor one side over the other, there are actually obvious similarities. And over time, this kind of sentiment will turn on itself and backfire in a very ironic way.

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Torchlight.
But I guess Diablo III had better marketing.

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you own the company? why you care? there is million other games, go play anything suits you!

I find D3 a million times better than Torchlight 2, its not only about the marketing. I have played though TL2 several times (last runthrough was 3 weeks ago) and haven’t even seen half of the skills for the three classes I played because it’s unmotivating to dump points into anything other than the ones I know are effective, and that I already invested in. Locked skilltree sux dic.

And the “endgame” is just plain boring. NG+ is better.

It’s nice to hear Matt Uelmens soundtrack, but it is by far not as magic as the ones he did for D1&2. Like someone took a metal guitarist out of his band and placed him in a pop band, he is still an okay guitarist but there is a hole where the inspiration used to be.

If I sound very negative it’s because I am, after seeing a bunch of D2 fanatics writing essays about why the system and endgame of D4 should resemble old school ARPG’s, and because the devs probably will fall for these “well thought through” arguments. It doesn’t help how much math you do when the result will be boring, and it doesn’t take a degree to find something tedious and boring.

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Definitely, it’s not a perfect game. LAN over net is improbable since it desynchronizes but via home/same hub/switch cable it’s great. I’m saying the game actually has LAN capability besides people being able to play it online like DIII.

The end game might not be satisfying but honestly, I never played Diablo for the grind and loot, mostly for the story, music and fun with friends as a sort of end games so I could check all those nifty classes.

I disagree that the soundtrack is not as magical. It’s a different universe. I think it fits very well while also keeping the Diablo-esque vibe. I think they should have not put this on Matt Uelmen and should have left him try his own way. Who knows, maybe he was given free choice of the music style.

Regarding the soundtrack, many of the riffs sound too similar to what Uelmen wrote for Diablo, but softer and less distinct, as if he has a limited repertoire that is best kept to the Diablo universe. But taste is subjective, I am happy for you if you think TL2 OST compares to D2.

I enjoyed the campaign quite a lot, except for the last act, which kind of ruins the totality. The further you come, the closer you you will get to the anti climax.

It is nice with a possibility for LAN, except I have no friends with the same interest in ARPG, or even gaming as I do, so I can’t really comment on how important that is, or not. D3 on console does support local play, if that is an important factor for you.

Ofc, this is all personal and I totally understand that people have different taste.

Torchlight doesn’t have a story, lol. I mean it’s a plain Diablo 1-2 ripoff. What I enjoyed was the gameplay, atmosphere+art (including music).

You are indeed right but let’s face it. There are a lot of similarities between Diablo and Diablo II’s soundtracks. Of course, the latter just excelled and where Matt Uelmen got to an even further level was in LoD with the orchestral.

Look at PoE. Kamil Orman Janowski and Adgio Hutchings mimicked the Diablo genre but added stuff of their own to it, basically, a sort of improvisation.

regarding the OST,
you entering the technology realm. diablo 1 had to use .midi files which have many limitation including quality of sound and amount of instruments. diablo 2 had access to mp3 and better, which allows ridiculously alot more freedom.
diablo 3 has access to even more than that. today’s tech in music is almost limitless. unlike during d1, d2 development era.

gaming music today is all about budget and gameplay. (and care)