Since I’m taking virtually this whole news post from the info in this forum thread, I thought I might as well reuse the header. As the title says, the new Art Director for Diablo 3 was introduced at Blizzcon, and he is a fellow by the name of Christian Lichtner. Unlike most of the other guys on the D3 team, Christian has an extensive, visible, pre-Blizzard bio. He is (was) a well-known comic book artist, with tons of published work, and many art samples on his company page, MySpace page, and DA page.
Any major change to the D3 Team is newsworthy, but what makes Christian’s case special is the ever-running Diablo 3 art controversy, As most of you are (all too) aware, there was a wee bit of debate as to whether D3 was too colorful when it debuted at the WWI last June. Given that issue, conspiracy theorists took note a couple of months later, when the Art Director, Brian Morrisroe quit Blizzard in August 2008 to form Boo-Yah entertainment, along with 2 other members of the Diablo 3 team. November 2008 brought word that a new Art Director had been hired, but it wasn’t until last month’s Blizzcon that we found out who he was.
Judging from the long arguments in the thread that brought us Christian’s bio, opinions on his work, as it relates to Diablo 3, are mixed. (Then again, isn’t mixed opinions the whole point of Internet forums?) Christian’s stuff is very colorful, and definitely goes for style over realism, as one look at that “Templar concept” to the right should indicate. (He drew that in 2008, months before he was hired on by Blizzard, so don’t read too much into it re: Diablo character concepts.) How much of his style will filter into the D3 art style is unknown, but obviously the head guys at Blizzard liked his stuff, or they wouldn’t have hired him to fill this crucial role on the team.
See Christian’s wiki page for more info about his past work, links to interviews and sample art, and more. And also check out ex-Art Director Brian Morrisroe’s wiki page, for some useful quotes about why he left and why his departure had nothing to do with the initial art controversy. (Or perhaps that’s just what they want you to think!)
Thanks to permaximum for finding all the info this post makes use of.