The Diablo 3 team has been shedding personnel for months, as many of the designers and senior developers have moved on to other projects at Blizzard or left the company entirely. Of late, almost all the Diablo job openings have been “unannounced project” positions, and mostly senior ones at that. For instance, the Diablo jobs listed back in the Spring were:
- Animator, Unannounced Project
- Game Director, Unannounced Project
- Senior Animator, Unannounced Project
- Senior Character Artist, Unannounced Project
- Senior Concept Artist, Unannounced Project
- Senior VFX Artist, Unannounced Project
Those listings gradually disappeared, making those of us who pay attention to this sort of thing assume Blizzard was staffing up for the next Diablo game, while all the D3 team departures showed they were moving Diablo 3 into legacy mode.
Thus it’s something of a surprise that three new Diablo 3 jobs have just been posted, now that all of the “Diablo unannounced project” job listings are gone. (The Game Director listing was the last one removed, just a couple of weeks ago.) The current 3 Diablo jobs listed are:
The Senior UI Designer job sounds like it will require organizing and working on a variety of games, possibly including updating D2 to be functional on modern systems. The Rigging job sounds like multi-game work, such as making Diablo characters look right in other Blizzard games (Heroes of the Storm?). The last UI Designer job description is the only one to specifically mention “Diablo 3,” and it sounds like someone to keep D3 working with new Battle.net stuff and updating the game systems.
So D3’s not being abandoned, if they’re at least hiring new people to work on the nuts and bolts. But it’s maybe surprising that they don’t have any Diablo Unannounced Project jobs listed now. Perhaps now that they’ve (apparently) hired many of the senior designers for D4, they just want to get the whole skeleton of the project mapped out, before they start adding all the programmers and artists to spend years fleshing it out?
Thanks to _TOP_Commander for the news tip.