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Diablo III Art Director Resigns, Blizzard Comments

By AlbenoEpiX - 8th August 2008 - 04:47 AM

Blizzard Entertainment has confirmed that Diablo III art director Brian Morrisroe has resigned to establish his own company “outside the game industry”, following the confusion incited by the developer’s recently posted job advert for the position.

“That change won't impact the game...we're really pleased with the look and feel that Brian helped create for Diablo III, and the new person we bring aboard will work with other artists on the team to maintain the art style moving forward..” said a Blizzard representative in response to an inquiry made by video game blog Kotaku.

The reasons alleged for Brian’s resignation in concert with Blizzard’s admission of satisfaction with the ‘look and feel that Brian helped create’ for the game, suggests that the former director’s departure has absolutely no correlation with the post-announcement turbulence that permeated the fanbase regarding the title’s art-style.

Diablo III was unveiled in late June at Blizzard’s ‘Worldwide Invitational’ event in Paris, only to be decried by a slew of indignant fans who believed that the new art direction was uncharacteristic of the dark world that the game’s predecessors had established. This angry-mob proceeded to create an online petition demanding a ‘renewed artistic direction for Diablo III’, which has accrued the signatures of over 50,000 advocates to date. Specifically, the petition calls for ‘slightly less colorful and less vivid outside scenarios’, to which the game’s lead designer Jay Wilson responds:

“When you pull all the color out of the environment and you make it too homogeneous across the game, essentially what you’re doing is you’re pulling away the player’s reward of feeling like they’ve progressed because the area they’re in now looks like the area they were in 30 to 45 minutes ago. So that’s one of the reasons why we really felt we had to do this. We had to move to an art style that had a lot more variety in it and was capable of a lot more.” [Link]

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The Colourful and Fruity World of Diablo III

With Morrisroe having moved onto other endeavours, Blizzard is currently on the look-out for a “a talented, motivated, and experienced art director to lead the Diablo III art team”. Given the prestige inherent with holding a senior position on the Blizzard development team, one can only wonder what sort of talent the company’s job advertisement will attract.