There’s an interview with Jay Wilson in the new issue of Game Informer magazine. (Print version; it’s not yet online anywhere I can find.) It’s a short piece, just eight questions, the last three of which repeat stuff we heard from Blizzcon 2011 about their nascent Diablo console plans. There’s no *new* game info in the piece, but Jay provides interesting insight into various things. Here are the first two questions.
Jay Wilson: It’s made me a total basket case. *laughs* No, not really. I had a microcosm of this experience when I worked on Dawn of War. Even though the Warhammer 40,000 community is arguably not as big as the Blizzard community, it’s just as rabid. It’s just as invested in what they love.
The thing I found with those communities is that they have a lot more trust in you if they feel like you’re one of them. So the thing I’ve always tried to do is make sure that I’m as honest as I can possible be with anyone I communicate with. Talk to people about why you’re making the decisions your making. If you explain it to them and they don’t agree, then make sure you listen to them. It doesn’t mean that their viewpoint is right, but if you never give it the chance and hear it out hen you don’t give yourself the chance to be wrong.
Did you ever seriously consider making a more radical departure from Diablo 2?
Jay Wilson: No I didn’t. I had people who argued that I should, but I never felt that way. I was given carte blanche — I was never told, “Make Diablo 3 like Diablo 2.” I was brought in and told, “We want you to make another Diablo game. ” I probably could have convinced my team and we would have made something different. I just looked at is as a fan of Diablo; that’s what I am. I hadn’t gotten enough of the Diablo games and I wanted more. At the end of the day, that’s the way Blizzard operations. As the core of what w do is, “Do we want to play that?”
Jay goes on to insist that he hates the term “recurring revenue stream” and that the Real Money aspect of the Auction House grew naturally out of their feature set, and not as a special thing they thought up to make money. He also says that there was never any pressure from management to give D3 a subscription model or to push out regular Bobby-style DLC content.
The interview also featured a nice sidebar listing Jay’s career path. Rather than transcribe it all I just cut it out and reformatted it along a horizontal access to make it fit into this post. Click it for a larger view, if you can’t read it at this size.