Blizzard Developer Apologises For Calling Diablo Co-Creator A 'Loser'

Jay Wilson, the lead designer on Diablo III, has issued a lengthy and public apology after being caught calling Blizzard North co-founder David Brevik a "loser".

Earlier this week, an interview with Brevik was published which called into question some of the design decisions made on Diablo III. While they were hardly incendiary, Wilson and some other Diablo III developers nevertheless took to Facebook to voice their displeasure with the comments, with Wilson writing "fuck that loser".

He now says he is "very sorry for what I said", and that Brevik "deserves to be treated with greater respect". You can read his full statement below. I'd recommend you do; there's some interesting sections in the middle where he basically acknowledges some of the major flaws fans are complaining about in Diablo III.

As many of you probably know, I recently made a comment on Facebook about Dave Brevik. I want to make it clear that I am very sorry for what I said. I have higher expectations for myself than to express my feelings in such a rash way and disrespect a fellow developer like Dave, someone who deserves to be treated with greater respect.
 

What I said was expressed out of anger, and in defence of my team and the game. People can say what they want about me, but I don't take lightly when they disparage the commitment and passion of the Diablo III team. Dave is awesome. In Diablo and Diablo II, he made two of the games that have most affected me as a developer. I respect his vision for Diablo, but just like he said in his interview, the Diablo III team must drive a vision for the game that is true to us. We believe in Diablo and have stuck by it through years of hard development to make it a reality.
 

The foundation of the Diablo team was built from the remnants of Blizzard North: Our lead programmer, who built the basis of the Diablo III engine while at Blizzard North; our lead tech artist, who drove much of the combat visuals, FX, and skill direction of our classes and is one of the most avid Diablo II players you can find; our lead concept artist, who helped establish the core look of the game; Wyatt Cheng, our senior technical game designer, who writes many of our blogs and works tirelessly on the live game. All these people and many others made the commitment to Diablo even after Blizzard North shut down. It was hard for me to see their contributions be diminished by someone they worked alongside, and even harder for me not to try to jump to their defence. I only wish I'd done so in a more professional manner.
 

Joining the Diablo team was a dream come true for me. In my house, the name Diablo was always spoken in hushed tones. It meant late nights that turned into early mornings, moments of pure adrenaline and pure joy. It meant countless conversations, debates, scouring websites for good builds, and more than one or two sick days. :) When Diablo II was released, I took a week off work and sent my wife out of state... and she was pregnant at the time! I played Diablo II with my dad during one of the most difficult times of his life, and the experience brought me closer to him, and I hope helped him through it. I joined the Diablo team because the idea of a world without more Diablo seemed like a pretty crappy world to me. I wasn't sure if I'd be good enough. I'm still not sure. But I felt I had to try.
 

Regardless of how I've done, my team has been more than good enough, and I'm proud of the game we made together. We believe it's a great game. But Diablo III has flaws. It is not perfect. Sales mean nothing if the game doesn't live on in all of our hearts, and standing by our games is what Blizzard does. Patch 1.0.4 is a step in the right direction, but we have no illusions that our work is done.
 

Playing Diablo III needs to be a rewarding experience. The new legendaries are a big step in the right direction, as are tweaks to item drop rates. But I'm not convinced that we've gone far enough. If you don't have that great feeling of a good drop being right around the corner — and the burst of excitement when it finally arrives — then we haven't done our jobs right. Out of our concern to make sure that Diablo III would have longevity, we were overly cautious about how we handled item drops and affixes. If 1.0.4 hasn't fixed that, you can be sure we'll continue to address it.
 

Part of the problem, however, is not just item drops, but the variety of things to do within the game. Many of you have stated that there needs to be more to the game than just the item hunt, and we agree completely. The Paragon system is a step in the right direction, giving meta-progress for your time in the game, but it does little to address the variety of activities you can do while playing. I don't think there's a silver-bullet solution to this problem, but I do think we can make this aspect of the game better, and as such we're planning more than just PvP for the next major patch. Not trying to be coy, but we're still firming things up and will talk about this as soon as we can.
 

Difficulty has been a constant source of division when discussing the game. Some players believe Diablo has never been about crushing challenges, but more about efficiency and farming. Some players want a game that tests them to their limits. Neither player is wrong. As it stands, Diablo III simply does not provide the tools to allow players to scale the game challenge to something appropriate for them. We set Inferno as the high watermark and took a one-size-fits-all approach to game challenge. Later in the development of Diablo II, the 'players 8' command — which let people set monster difficulty — was added to address this issue, and we're considering something similar for the next major Diablo III patch to allow players to make up their own minds about how hard or how easy is right for them.
 

The Auction House has also proven to be a big challenge. It adds a lot of power for players to trade and acquire items. Getting a great Monk drop that you can trade for better gear for your Wizard is obviously a great benefit, but it does come with a downside. The Auction House can short circuit the natural pace of item drops, making the game feel less rewarding for some players. This is a problem we recognise. At this point we're not sure of the exact way to fix it, but we're discussing it constantly, and we believe it's a problem we can overcome.
 

While these are some of the major issues with Diablo III, they aren't the only things we're looking at. On a daily basis we ask ourselves if the classes are satisfying to play, if rares and champions are fun to fight, if they're tuned well relative to normal monsters. Can we make further improvements to social elements of the game? How can items be even better?
 

We made Diablo III because we believe in the Diablo games. We think the gameplay is awesome, the world is compelling, and it's the game we all wanted to play. Because we believe in it, we'll continue to stand by it and make it better. We are committed to making Diablo III the best Diablo game to date, and we hope you'll continue to help us do just that.
 

Saying that, I'd like to apologise to all of you, the players in our community. You deserve better than my reaction to Dave's comments. You deserve more honest communication about the game and what we're doing to make it a more awesome experience for us all. We care about Diablo very much, and appreciate your passion for it. Without you, we wouldn't be able to do this, and for that I can't thank you enough.

A MESSAGE FROM JAY [Blizzard]


Comments

    Wow. They're actually admitting the flaws of Diablo III. Didn't see that one coming.

    With Guild Wars 2 this saturday, I think it's just a little too late, but maybe in a year if I'm bored I'll come back and play a significantly better game.

      I know what you mean, everything that has bothered me about Diablo III seems to have been addressed.

      (Apart from the horrible character model for Diablo)

      I have faith that Blizzard will fix many of the flaws in the game, but it's just a situation of too little, too late.

        my biggest issue with D3 is the always-online "Feature" until that gets removed they're not getting my money.

          I don't care about the always-online DRM, as much as the problems they caused trying to justify it.
          Such as the Auction House. After around level 15 or so, I bought a full set of amazing gear from the AH. Didn't get a single upgrade drop for the next ten levels until I bit the bullet and went back to the AH for another set of upgrades.

          For a casual, non-grinding single player, drops are intentionally shithouse to force you to use the market. Borderlands is the best Diablo game since D2.

      Exactly this.

    Its not an apology when you start to criticise the guys (quite valid and frankly diplomatic) statement in the same breathe.

    "I am very sorry I kicked your dog. I am very defensive of my quiet time, and your dog is very loud. So very loud. You really should collar the dog or something because in my defence... blah blah blah.

    "Hey Jay, this is Tom from PR. We're gonna need a big fake apology from you. Apparently reacting to a mildly negative interview like a hormonal 13year old didn't go over so well with the user base. And If you could also push in some advertising for latest patch, that'd be great."

      It did start to sound like a big ad campaign in that second paragraph lol.

        I think it's more like 'this is Tom from PR, just a heads up, we're putting out this press release tomorrow, you're listed as the author'.

      There's no way of telling whether the apology was legitimate or not. Whenever a public apology is given, people always whine, "IT'S JUST A PR STUNT!" So what should he have done? Not apologise at all? If he didn't apologise, people would give him a hard time for not facing up to what he did wrong. He has apologised, and people give him a hard time by accusing him of not being sincere. You just can't win in these situations. What would you have him do?

      Sincere or not, he faced up to what he did wrong, and then went even further by acknowledging that there are things about D3 that need to be fixed. But since there's never any way of knowing whether this is a PR stunt or not, we need to give him the benefit of the doubt. Next time someone issues a public apology, don't accuse them of things you can't back up, because it's better than not issuing an apology at all.

      TL;DR: Good on him.

        I'm not going to give him the benefit of the doubt here, because this is a really terribly apology. A simple sorry might have come across as sincere, but this is an ad AND he continues to criticise the guy. At best, its a more diplomatic rebuttal to the comments made by Brevik. If my kid made an apology like this, I'd ground him even longer.

        'Not issuing an apology at all' wasn't ever actually an option. That would have been career suicide.

        This is one of those apologies you get from the school bully with the teacher standing behind him while he sullenly mumbles at you, then looks at you with eyes that say you're DEAD outside school tomorrow.

          More to the point, it's like the bully saying to the teacher, 'I'm sorry you don't like me punching him'.

          Because at no point does he apologise to anyone but the community, and they're not the ones he called a loser.

        nah dude, if it didnt sound like a big PR advertisement, then people wouldnt say it. if it did actually sound sincere and just apologized instead of the 6 paragraphs about what (we all know) is wrong with the game right now. it's fine that hes saying this but wouldnt it be better in a real blog post on its own instead of forced inside this apology?

    How the mighty have fallen.... Should of listened to the beta comments IMHO

      should have*

    A simple "Sorry David, comments I made about you were unfounded and stupid. Please forgive me." would have sufficed. Wall-of-text is never a good idea, looks like you're making excuses for your behaviour instead of taking responsibility.

      Or a phone call to say you are sorry. Public apologies mean nothing and are just for show.

    Well, it may not have started as a PR stunt, but it certainly ended as one. Having half of your apology pushing the latest patch? Classy...

    The best way forward for Blizzard would be to have Jay leave and someone who knows what they are doing with an RPG take over.

    no takesies backsies. essay not accepted.

    "When Diablo II was released, I took a week off work and sent my wife out of state… and she was pregnant at the time! "

    Are you kidding me?

      yup, thought the same thing. dude is mental.

    Come on guys it's obvious that they made the game in a year or two and had no beta period. Plenty of time to polish once it has been released. Not like anything had been learned by similar games that they had made.

    The Players8 thing was awesome at LAN parties. Yeah, they should implement that again. Yeah. The LAN thing. And piss off that stupid auction house bs. And stupid anti piracy measures on the self lauded best selling pc release of all time.

      He wasn't talking about having 8 players in game. He was using it as an example to say you will have the ability to make your single player game harder if you want but you will be alone while doing it. Also unfortuantely AAA titles and LAN is a dead thing. Few games will release LAN and unlikely they will be AAA titles.

    Am i the only person who saw PvP next patch?

      Yea 1.1 comes afters 1.0.4 supposedly. But with the current record it was June when the first big patch 1.0.3 came now 1.0.4 end of August/start of September so running that timeline will be lucky if 1.1 PVP patch comes this year.

    I want online chat rooms like the old diablo 2.

    It's good that he apologised, hopefully he has learned the 'Wait 5 seconds before pressing post' rule.

    Dear Jizzard. Your years old teasers looked better than the piece of shit we got today. Which is partially why I bought it.

    I am amazed that it is even possible to apologize from such a reaction and save face to be honest. If I or one of my employees did something like that in such a public eye where I work...the hammer would drop. Is it really that hard to maintain a professional attitude.

    Lucky you have so much money to address problems with a game so long after its launch. You continue to polish a turd with your golden fleece, until it becomes a diamond, I'm sure.

    I love how people always bring up Guild Wars 2 when it comes to an excuse to leave Diablo 3. Totally different games, at least the Torchlight 2 excuse had some merit, as it was the same game genre. Personally, Borderlands 2 would be a closer resemblance to Diablo 3 in my opinion. Speaking of Borderlands 2, I'm excited :D.

    Was able to log on for a couple of hours to try the new patch and i thought it was excellent. The stats on the items that were dropping finally made sense and the elites seemed to be balanced. The comment that Jay made was wrong but haven't we all done something we regret? At least he tried to do something about it instead of letting it go...

    Regards

    Stacy Bridges
    Executive Coordinator Of Customer Relations

    I'll play D1 and D2 of this idiots pathetic excuse for an entry into what was one of all time favorite gaming franchises.

    Go learn off Brevik how to make a real button masher that will last me years, not a single fucking week!

    (yep, I'm still pissed at this poor excuse for fun of a game).

    Jay still comes off as a douche to me. I read the original interview that sparked all his outrage and I feel that Dave was MORE than fair to the D3 crew and most of his criticism was constructive as well as gentle. There is no way he deserved the "Fuck that loser" comment and frankly, I'm absolutely shocked that an adult would act that way on Facebook of all places where they have to know people are constantly checking the public pages of Blizzard staff.

    If I caught one of my developers doing something like this, he'd be out the door so fast his head would spin.

    LOL. I honestly cannot tell if this is an apology or dev commentary on the upcoming patch.

    Jay's story on how it was a dream to work on the Diablo team, how he pretty much worshipped the first 2 installments of the series, and why Diablo 3 sucked balls all seems for naught - he still pretty much said "f**k that loser" in regards to Dave Brevik.

    After you say "f**k that loser" to someone in the industry who is not only your senior, but someone you allegedly respected and looked up to, all your credibility is lost.

    This isn't an apology, this is Jay Wilson trying to save face.

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