Jay Wilson is Game Director of an Unannounced Blizzard Game


In his farewell post Jay Wilson said that he was moving to another project inside of Blizzard. Most of us assumed he’d be working on Titan (or something else more secret), but also assumed he’d be a team lead or developer of some sort, but that he would *not* be a Game Director again. I thought that Jay wouldn’t want the constant publicity and PR headaches, and that Blizzard wouldn’t want him to be the public face of another game after the decidedly rocky first year of Diablo 3.

Well, according to the newly-updated description on his Twitter account, we were wrong.

Game Director @ Blizzard on an unannounced game. I like games, especially Blizzard ones, and anything that has the word ‘Warhammer’ on it.

That description formerly said “Game Director for Diablo 3…” so the only thing that’s changed is the “unannounced game” part. Given how many of you guys seem to feel that Jay is personally responsible for anything and everything that you find unfulfilling in Diablo 3, I almost hate to ask…. but what do you think of this news?

I’m surprised that Jay wanted to be a Game Director again, given all the headaches and responsibility that entails. As Elly and me talked about on the podcast, it seemed like Jay just wanted to get back to working on a game and doing design and development stuff, and to be out of the public eye, to not have to constantly jet off to do Asian press tours, and to not be the person blamed for everything. Clearly he’s got more appetite for suffering than any of us imagined.

1QRkR

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  1. Grieving in 3… 2…. 1….

  2. Talking about Jay is beating a fat, bloated big-necked inept dead horse at this point.

  3. Blah blah blah boycott blah blah blah vote with wallet blah blah blah opinions.

  4. I think… Blizzard have their heads so far up their own asses.

  5. …I can usually come up with something. But I’m at a loss for words. Just…wow.

    • I somehow get the feeling that the Twitter “title” is a big “F you, losers” to all of those discontent with his D3 work and content that he left D3. There are usually years of rumors until we eventually find out Blizzard is working on a title. Now we find out from none other than the game director himself, in a casual Twitter subtitle.

      The man has a humongous ego, I’ll give him that.

  6. Holy shit, I did not expect this. I thought he’d go in a less public position than friggin’ game director. This is unexpected.

    However, if, IF, this game turns that Jay Wilson is game director of turns out to be Warcraft IV that’s probably going to be the biggest shitstorm in gaming in a while. I don’t think that he will be lead of Titan since that has been in development since forever so I would think that they already have a game director.
    Anyways, there are two Blizzard games which have been fruitlessly anticipated for so long that they have turned into legends spoken of amongst fans, Diablo 3, which was announced 6 years after LoD and ended up being what it ended up being, and Warcraft IV. To have Jay Wilson who had already, for many, “ruined Diablo”, and place him on the head of development of the only title that is as expected and hoped for as Diablo 3 was, would be an absolute PR disaster for Blizzard. If that’s the case, I don’t know what are they thinking, regardless of whether you think he has ruined D3 or not, he does not have good PR with the fans and, by extension, he does not give Blizzard good PR.

    He could still work on the game but to put him in the place of game director, probably the most exposed position in the team, the “public face” of the game, is terrible move for Blizzard no matter what game this ends up being, W4 or not. However, the PR shitstorm will be that much worse if it is Warcraft 4 than, say, Titan or Blizzard All-Stars.

  7. And… obvious move is obvious.

    Jay gets a promotion.

  8. “Clearly he’s got more appetite for suffering than any of us imagined.” So that is why he is fat. Well Scooby now that the mystery is solved its chow time.

  9. PLease don’t be on Titan. I was interested in hearing about it..

  10. He was the lead developer in Company of Heroes and Dawn of War. It’d make sense for him to take over Warcraft 4.

  11. Ruining one blizzard game wasn’t enough….So they doubled it.

    P.S. The video captchas are very annoying.

    • They’re there to punish attempted spammers. Register/log in and you (shouldn’t) see any ads on the captchas.

      If so let us know (you can use the Submit Diablo News link at the bottom of the page) when you saw the ad and what your region is; ads are targeted to your location and differ all over the world, so *we* admins don’t know what everyone else is seeing at any given time.

  12. Well look at it this way… At this point, he’s an experienced game director who’s seen it all and been through the shit.

    And despite how you feel about D3, his overall track record is good with Warhammer and Company of Heroes being excellent games (love by most everyone!). And it’s not like he’s directing another ARPG at Blizz, for more than obvious reasons. I hope he’s heading an RTS, because that could be where he’s most comfortable. Warcraft 4?

    OR… in one of his last interviews, he said he’s like to do an action/adventure type game similar to Skyrim, so perhaps Blizzard is going after that genre. Either way, it should be interesting.

    • A Warhammer action / adventure game would be cool. It is known that Blizzard people are huge fans of the WH & WH40k series, so I don’t see it beyond the realm of possibility to have a game in that realm.

  13. Maybe wc4, or maybe blizzard bought the warhammer franchise from THQ! Or has this quote of his about warhammer been there all along?

  14. Until blizzard have improved their standards, I will not be buying a blizzard game at launch again.

    I don’t picture that being anytime soon considering blizzard doesn’t seem to know what ‘when its ready’ means anymore.

    • I agree with you and think the same way. Although I linger at this site (more because of Flux’s funny writing than anything), I played D3 at launch with only a monk, up to act 2 nightmare, and that was it. Never played again.

      I don’t have much time to play these days, but I simply didn`t want to play D3. For instance, I find Path of Exile better and it isn`t even finished. Even if D games more sought after feature is replayability, D3`s bad story and cartoony graphics killed it for me. D1 and D2 didnt have a complex story, but theirs were good, they had ambiance and drew you in. D1 had that great narrator and was claustrophobic, I was even scared of playing some levels for the first times. D2 had interesting characters, like Marius and the previous warriors from D1. D3 has… a butterfly enemy that kills Cain in a shockingly bad in-game cutscene.

  15. It’s probably Warcraft IV, A Diablo MMO. Oh and by the way, Titan will be World of Warcraft 2, mark my words.

  16. Titan(ic)! πŸ˜‰

  17. he’s just a face, he gets paid to troll man

  18. Oh dear! My word! All right, let’s wait and see what happens before laying into him. Everybody deserves a second chance at a) being solely responsible for a disputable total failure and/or b) being a scapegoat.

    I wish everything turns out all right so that everybody’s happy, which is much better than carping all day and night, actually.

  19. Well this really got me thinking… from what I found here (http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/232/index/7235536) EA has/had some license to warhammer 40k online games, which expires this year. Then we have:

    1) Jay worked at Relic.
    2) Jay worked with Warhammer and was successful at it (from what I gather… I liked the RTS games at least).
    3) Blizzard wanted Warhammer at the beginning of time.
    4) THQ is selling the rights to make warhammer 40k games and Relic is probably publisherless.

    Don’t you guys feel that Blizzard could go for this IP? Or become publisher for Relic? Or even buy Relic entirely? They surely are a good team… AND are used to work with Jay.

    Okay buying Relic seems a bit far-fetched but in any case, if Blizzard got the rights for WH40K, Jay would be the logical choice to lead it. It’s really odd to remove the game director from one of the 3 major Blizzard games when the expansions weren’t released yet. Failure or not, D3 sold well and that should be enough to not fire / move him before the expansions are out.

    Unless… there came a new position that he would be perfect for, the best person in the whole company. AND… a project that he would want much more than D3, that made he feel at home, more than any other Blizz project. Plus, he would get rid of the D3 haters and get to work with old friends again.

    What do you guys think?

    • Don’t know much about his track record with Warhammer titles but based on what you said it’s certainly feasible.

      I also don’t get why so many people interpret his change as a punishment/demotion. His position is the one that gets a lot of flak even if they release the perfect game of the millenium. Imho d3 is pretty far from a wreck. It admittedly falls short in many areas(silly story/cutscenes, boring items, bad crafting), but the overall game is a great foundation and is still fun.

      It’s more like an unavoidable industry phenomenon: high end people can’t do the same thing for too long. It’s not really possible to maintain quality of work without a shitload of dedication/excitement, and that starts to fade away if you are stuck with the same thing for too many years.

    • I think you might be onto something here. I think it is REALLY odd that Jay Wilson explicitly mentions the name ‘Warhammer’ in his tweet. Why on earth would someone from a big business advertise someone else’s IP? Well, unless it’s going to be their’s of course. I know Wilson worked on the Dawn of War games, but this comment would still be quite odd if Blizzard would’ve no connection to the Warhammer IP.

      Combined with the fact that the rights for the Warhammer games are being released soon as you say makes me think that Blizzard might be doing a Warhammer game after all. Would still be surprised if it was a RTS though, as a Warhammer 40k game would share the same style and theme with the Starcraft franchise.

  20. What IF: Jay was pulled of D3 in order to start Diablo 4 and bring us an epic game that we thought D3 would be? Now with all the user input from D3 and D4 would have Runes, runewords, random world parts, epic 8 player games, epic itemization etc… πŸ™‚

    • Ok runes and then what? I lol when I see these comments: no substance coming out of these comments at all…

      So 8 instead of 4 and some random blocky corners would be “the” change ?

      Oh and of course we put in the “etc” part…

      Idiots….

  21. I think you got your home planet wrong, as the number of views and comments on the last few news posts make clear.

  22. With Metzen writing the story/lore Warcraft 4 is already basically ruined, so I don’t see the big deal with Jay directing it. That said, this is probably just him not having a real job title yet and just leaving his twitter description as it was (intentionally or unintentionally.)

  23. He’s working on a sequel of The Lost Vikings

  24. you’re not understanding the message

    Blizzard told Jay he’s a game director, they just haven’t told him what game yet

  25. omg

    after this…
    im not expecting _anything_ changes for d3, even with new person

    they just have their own goals, and hardcore fans arent one of them!

  26. i just sold my blizzard shares ! i wanna get outa there alive

  27. Well, I don’t care. I only play Diablo games and I only care for Diablo news. At least it means he will move to another office and can’t mingle with the D3 expansion dudes, which I think is good news.

  28. Jay Wilson made Company of Heroes and 40k:Dawn of War as Lead Designer.

    The man has had 3 giant blockbusters.

    Sorry dudes: but anyone with such a track record stands miles above idiots on fourms.

    • Exactly. Blaming Jay Wilson for D3 is just not rational. Some people need a scapegoat, and Wilson has been the face of D3. So it is absolutely OK to take him out of the line of fire, maybe it is good to take him out of D3’s development, because after 7 years of D3 all day, your mind might be shut, but why should Blizzard punish or degrade him? After 7 years of good work, because some aspects of the endproduct doesn’t meet certain peoples standards? Wilson had a team of creative people to care for gameplay. Of course he had some impact on parts of the game where he “had a knack on”. But in some aspects, he just had to trust people.

      Like, if he asks the lead item designer of megaseller WoW how the itemization is going to be, and he gets told: “It is going to be great, don’t worry.”, what is he going to do? Tell the dude to fuck off and do it himself? Lol. He asked the most experienced people available to him to get the job done, that was his job. He cannot be asked to work against his whole team.

      Personal hate towards Wilson is just inappropiate and childish. He has accomplished more in his life then most of us in this thread, and even if D3 is a let down for some (including me btw), people should respect that.

    • The 2 above: exactly my thoughts.

  29. Well thats a game I definetly won’t be buying.
    I will never forget or forgive what they have done with the diablo franchise.

  30. It all makes sense now. Rape the Diablo franchise for a quick cash injection and then create a real game.

  31. Blizzard All-Stars perhaps? Though that is announced…

  32. Just a thought experiment, consider there’s still millions of people playing diablo 3 weekly, it has sold more than d2lod has in its lifetime and there’s about hundreds of thousands of people playing the game at any given moment. It has to have a lot of appeal to a lot of people, those people might not be the same people who played d2lod for years though. Why wouldn’t D3 be considered a success given those details?

  33. Even though Jay left the D3 team, his spirit lives on in Ghom, Lord of Gluttony.

  34. I don’t really agree with putting the full blame on Jay Wilson for D3’s shortcomings as well. I could have cared less about the whole fuck that loser thing, as there is probably way more to it, and alot more history than we know. He is merely a face in the company and his strings are being pulled by people above him, but I think he could have had better repore with the fan base. Somehow I think it did not fully sink in to him how ravenous the hardcore Diablo fans are, and how critical we would be of the game.

    I just hope like Hell the game will continue to be supported, and that somebody coming into the game director position will have a few fresh ideas. There is already a great base of a game to work with, contrary to what alot of the haters say about it being bad to the core. I don’t think the AH is going away, so a fine balance between making the game fun and profitable will take somebody with solid thinking. The graphics and mechanics of the game are fuckin awesome, so adding a little more depth to the itemization and character development could not be that damn hard.

    I have considered giving PoE a go, and I might even give the open beta a try sometime in the next few weeks. There are a few good ideas I see in that game, and for all I know it could end up being the game of the century, and I wish GGG all the luck in the world. I always like to see the little guys pull one out of the hat. I am still having fun with D3, but PoE is coming out at a point where some people may need a break from D3 or feel there is nothing left for them to do, so it could turn out alright for GGG. I know graphics don’t make the game, but PoE sure has a long way to go in that dept., and I find the people that say the graphics in PoE are better to be from a different planet than me.

    • I’d like to add that serious competition (PoE) is the best that could happen to D3 in its current state, and I’m convinced that the first D3 expansion will add more depth to the (skill) progression and itemization of the game.

    • I’m a PoE supporter so I’m biased in that regard, but I don’t know why people keep saying that PoE has poor graphics. It sure is no Crysis, but when it comes to ARPG’s it’s one of the best, better than D3 at least. It has a higher texture resolution, better lighting and I much prefer it’s gritty, realistic style (although that’s personal preference of course). The only department where Diablo 3 is a clear winner is in it’s animations.

  35. Worst news ever!

  36. It’s obviously not SC2. Those guys seem to know what they’re doing. FYI, Blizzard Cinematics should get big fat honking raises, again. Heart of the Swarm opening is FANTASTIC.
    http://youtu.be/MVbeoSPqRs4

  37. Just stay away from my Warcraft Jay.

  38. Well, I know that’s at least one game secured on my “do not buy” list.

  39. For once, I am absolutely chillaxed regarding this piece of Blizzard news. =)

    Time itself will have died of age before development on this unannounced title even nears pre-alpha status under the former D3 game direction.

    • Yes Jay does work at a very leisurely pace. By the time the game is released in a decade I probably won’t even remember these days.

  40. maybe it’s his destiny to be lead troll

  41. I’m actually going to hedge that Blizzard will be doing a Warhammer 40k project. With a code name like “Titan”, my gut just says they’re going to do some massive epic 40k MMO.

    Imagine, full 40k MMO done in the Horus Heresy by Blizzard – the possibility could be massive.

  42. It’s not Titan obviously someone else has that spot. Jay is most likely working on Warcraft4 rts.

  43. Jay Wilson directing another title?

    There’s a game I’ll never buy.

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