The Diablo Podcast #49: David Craddock Interview

The forty-ninth episode of The Diablo Podcast features Flux interviewing David Craddock, author of an upcoming book about Blizzard North. David interviewed over 65 people for the project, including dozens of former Blizzard North employees, for a definitive insider account of the formation, glory years, and ultimate tragic doom of the studio that created the Diablo series.

David’s book contains a great deal of info about Blizzard North’s version of Diablo III, and the sad last years of the studio, after the departure of the “Big Four,” when Blizzard Irvine began to meddle and everything came crashing down. Though David saved some of the best stories for his book, he shared plenty of juicy details during our conversation, including several revelations that had never-before been made public about other, non-Diablo projects at Blizzard North, elements of their early version of Diablo III that were preserved in the Blizzard Irvine version, interactions between Blizzard and Blizzard North, and more.

Today also marks the grand opening of David’s new publishing house/website, now online at

The DiabloWikiDiablo Podcast Episode Guide in the wiki provides easy navigation with a short summary of every show.

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  1. Was looking forward to some more details on the disbanding in Blizzard North, but apparently he wants people to read the book for that (unless he just doesn’t have any new information).
    Generally, I have a hard time buying the “we didn’t know what was going on” argument, they did change hands so often that they should’ve gotten used to it, right? If you are successful then a new parent company wouldn’t interfere and change anything, so there must have been internal problems that either were the sole reason and vivendi, as that foreign “company cluster”, was just a more convenient target, or they were the “seed” that set them to worrying about their company’s future.
    Anyway, that sounded like a cold, get well soon if that’s the case!

  2. Meh nevermind the disbanding of Blizzard North, it’s ancient history. The podcast people should focus on current issues, like the D3 beta email scams that are going around. People are often falling for those, that’s why they keep coming, and a good warning reminder will go a long way.

    • So ancient history can’t be interesting? Also who says the podcast should only focus on current issues?

      As per the Podcast David Craddock has quite a bit of inside sources. A company like Blizzard (North) and a game like Diablo is not made easily nor without incident. Sounds like there’s a ton of backstory and drama into the making of our beloved game. Why not find out how it came to be?

    • If the author had been more forthcoming this could have been the most interesting podcast I’ve listened to yet, as it is it’s still one of the better ones. Call me academic, but I find those things very interesting, not like there’s a lot of D3 specific stuff to talk about atm.
      And seriously, email scams? I daresay the people falling for those are not exactly the kind of audience this podcast has. Besides the fact that email scams are ridiculously easy to avoid, regular visitors know that the official email doesn’t have any link in it that you are required to visit.

      • That would be a pretty short podcast.

        Flux: Hey, so the exact same “tell us your password” scams we saw in D2 and have seen for 6 years of WoW are now showing up with Diablo 3 beta as the bait.

        Elly: Sad, really. Blizzard has said 6000 times never to reveal your email to anyone. This clearly says something about human nature and greed.

        Flux. Exactly. Okay, next topic!

        • Assuming that every single person on the planet has ever received a legit email from Blizzard, let be it a support reply or an invite, and so they know what a legit email from Blizzard looks like. And it would be so hard for you people, with all the ad shit, banners and buttons filling up the site, to just put up a sticky warning about this issue. I bet you wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss it if it was one of your friends’ account that got hacked into, or even yours.

          A simple screenshot of both emails, legit and fake, side by side, can make a difference. And you being an admin for so long around here, had to wait for a site visitor to come up with the simplest of suggestions, that even a monkey could come up with…………hmm well that says alot about your true abilities. And you obviously don’t even care. Yap yap yap, that’s all you’re good for evidently.

          • “Yap yap yap, that’s all you’re good for evidently.”  Wait, you talking about yourself here right? 🙄

          • If people have somehow never noticed the million warnings Blizzard (and we) have posted in years past about never sharing their account passwords for any reason… would another post on it now really make a difference?

            Also, I’m fairly sure we did, a couple/three months ago, when “d3 beta soon” first became an issue of some excite.

            I’m not opposed to warning fans about this sort of thing; I maintained an extensive warnings section on back in the day (which various PR people at Bliz bitched about as they said our warnings were giving hackers how-to info) but we thought it was important that fans knew what to be forewarned about.


            The sophistication of such scams seems to have dropped off greatly over the years, though. Now it’s just 80 flavors of “tell us your WoW password.” via email. I’ve seen numerous such emails for d3 beta over the past few months. They’re obviously pretty non-threatening to me, as i don’t even have a WoW account.

    • Not everyone interested knows why this game is taking so long. I think his book will shed some light on the subject, if you don’t care then don’t read it, no one is making you. I think it might put Blizz Irvine in a very interesting light. I will be interested, I was shocked to see Blizz north close up, they did so well, and Diablo 2 broke major ground. The game was in no way broken I don’t see why Irvine felt the need to fix it, just because they’re the parent company doesn’t give them the right to break up a good thing. Their version of D3 will be fun, but north had plans to make this an mmo, I remember hearing rumors, and that the weapons would change to show if you were on the side of heaven or hell, I mean common, that’s cooool.

    • a podcast on email scams ?

      it would only be 30 seconds long,
      here you go  

      “Blizzard will NEVER ask for your password, if any email does ask for your password, then its a scam. If you give ANYONE your password, then you’re an idiot and deserve to be taken advantage of” 

      and the history of game development is a very interesting subject

  3. Email scams are older than Blizzard North.  Why is there so much entitled clamoring about what should and should not be on the front page or in podcasts?

  4. Well I’m glad to see what a considerate community this is. So they’d rather sit and yap yap yap like a pack of hyenas about oooh who threw the first stone at B.North or the color of that particular unique sword or Leah’s shoes than yeah indeed taking 30 seconds to warn people about the beta email scams that are being sent around to people, or just sticking a little warning piece at the top with a screenshot of a legit vs fake email, that can actually save some unwitting people’s accounts and/or money? Would that be so hard?

    They’ve flapped the gums about every bullshit topic they want, but they can’t spare 30 seconds to be a real sport and warn people? Hey I created a simple thread about it and people are coming forward with emails of their own, members and staff members are like. This is real.

      • Yeah sure, A post that stays on the front page for a few hours before it gets pushed out of sight and out of mind by other posts. People don’t just get gutted out of stupidity. Many people just don’t know what a legit email from Blizzard looks like because they’ve never received one. Beta invite or a Support reply or whatever. So they think what the heck, it must be legit.

        D3 is looking to be an awesome ride, and lots of people are desperate to get into the beta. Keep in mind the above given reason, and the problem escalates. Someone said “I can’t believe anyone older than 15 would fall for this stupid-looking email”, and well the obvious answer is that it’s still working on people, that’s why they keep using it.
        And the more Blizzard promises more beta slots opening up in the near future, the more emails like these will be sent out and the more people will get their accounts hacked. Out of sheer stupidity, desperation or simple misinformation, because they just weren’t warned and they didn’t know any better.

        But hey, everything will be better, because the next podcast will be out soon, focusing on the male Wizard’s starfish helmet and the female WD’s thong color choice! Wooohooo go team FUN!!! Scintillating stuff!

          Doesn’t really matter what the email looks like (and posting pics of it will ony help scammers make their emails look better), because the cardinal rule is that no company will ever ask you for your password, because they already have it…
          You want to help people not to get scammed, teach them that…
          Heh, the captcha says MOOT POINT…

          Don’t click, I’m after your bnet accounts.
          Instead of knocking this website and what they choose to talk about in their podcasts, why don’t you put on a costume and start sending this link around for yourself. It’s funny how stirred up some people get when they don’t get their way.

  5. At this point I’d welcome an email scam… good podcast though, for the past 10 year I’ve felt like the village idiot justifying my “I’m just waiting for D3” line when anyone asked if I play video games.

  6. Collector’s Edition available for preorder on US Amazon!

  7. Let me get this right.

    To sum up your points here:

    – It is the responsibility of this website and its administrators to be a sport, and educate the public so that people do not give out personal information over the internet. 

    – Flux, Elly, and guests of the Diablo Podcast are… missing the mark (?) by talking about topics that relate directly to the development of Diablo III, its characters, and in-game features.

    Just want to make sure I am reading all of this correctly.

    • I actually was sick on the previous podcast, with wolfpaq and eliminator the day after blizzcon.  But I just had a deeper voice from it then. This podcast was a few days later and I didn’t feel sick anymore, but I was really congested that day.  I edited out several additional sneezes when they didn’t come right on top of other dialogue.

  8. Why doesn’t Flux remind me to floss?  If he would only be a sport and show a screenshot of good vs. bad teeth, I would know what I was getting into.  Instead, all I hear about around here is Diablo III.

  9. Not to sound crass, but if it took Blizzard North falling apart to get the current version of Diablo 3 instead of that bland looking MMO version, then I’m ok with it… I would much rather it stay a distinct genre from Warcraft for a good long while yet… I feel the same about a Starcraft MMO…

  10. Hilarious – the fanboi contingent is desperate to redirect from the obvious fact that the total lack of a single person from the original diablo team (and only a handful of juniors from d2) means the series has effectively zero connection to the current game, and almost none of its charm, atmosphere and long-term replayability.
    BTW, scorch/solomon – try to go for icons with a different approach in your alts, it helps.

  11. If I had a billion dollars, i’d engage all ex blizzard north(or condor) peoples(brevik, schaefer’s, roper etc), and give them total freedom to make or remake their version of diablo 3 or another name RPG. just dreaming..but

    • Tthat was Hellgate: London. Sadly, they took too long and bit off too much for their first game, and ran out of money a year too soon, so we’ll never know what might have been.

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