A lovely story (if true) has surfaced on reddit from a young guy called Deckard Cain Elder. Back, I would assume in the first part of 1996 (Diablo 1 released end 1996), PCGamer ran a competition to suggest a name for a character in Blizzard’s up and coming ARPG, Diablo. Deckard’s father, a big Blizzard fan, decided to submit his son’s name. In retrospect the name seems quite surreal to us as it fits so perfectly in a fantasy world now and doesn’t sound ‘real wordly’ but Deckard explains how he got his name:
My first name comes from the Harrison Ford’s character in the movie Blade Runner, my middle name is my mother’s maiden name, and my last name is my fathers family name.
Months went by but eventually a package arrived with a letter from Bill Roper informing Mr Cain that he had won and his son’s name was to be given to Tristram’s town elder.
A long yellow envelope, a copy of Diablo, a black hat with Blizzard in blue printed on the front, a very large Diablo T-shirt, and a blue statue of Diablo that stand a little over a foot tall. Inside the envelope was a letter from Bill Roper, the producer of Diablo, that explained that I had been chosen for the drawing prize. (I will have an imgur link to pictures of the Diablo statue, me holding the letter, and the letter up close for you to read.) The letter basically explained that the prize for being chosen in this drawing, was to have your name in the game. I honestly feel that, because of my unique name, Blizzard saw my name on the postcard and thought it suited the character they were looking to name. But either way, it’s seriously cool. So if you ever wondered how Blizzard named Deckard Cain, you now know.
He also received a specially commissioned statue of Diablo and a copy of the game. Deckard doesn’t mention if he plays Diablo or if his Father still does but either way he thinks it’s cool and so he should, it’s quite the honour.
We know that Blizzard were open to naming characters after community members as myself and Flux have NPCs named after us in Diablo 2 which is nice because there’s not a hope in hell of that happening in Diablo 3. Thanks fmulder, Tom Beers and Kajan for mailing in with the story.
Update: Bashiok has confirmed this is a true story.