The Creators Of Diablo On Why Collaboration Is The Future Of ARPGs

The Creators Of Diablo On Why Collaboration Is The Future Of ARPGs

This year’s ExileCon played host to the founders of Blizzard North, who took to the stage to discuss the state of action RPGs, what the genre’s future looks like, and how the worlds of MMOs and ARPGs are colliding.

Since Blizzard North’s Diablo was introduced to the world in 1996, the action RPG has grown and changed. But despite the impact that Diablo had on the games industry, Blizzard North founders David Brevik, Max Schaefer and Erich Schaefer admit that they didn’t expect its importance, or anticipate how the ARPG genre would develop and change because of their game.

As Max Schaefer describes it, the creation of Diablo was possible purely because technology had developed to a point where their vision and desire to play an ARPG-style game was possible. “We really wanted to play it, so we made it,” Schaefer explained.

This simple fact meant that the team at Blizzard North were able to create a whole video game genre, almost from the ground up. That genre went on to inspire countless other games and franchises, but the Blizzard North team still believes that the ARPG genre has so much room to grow. “We’re just scratching the surface of the genre,” explained Max Schaefer.

The panel went on to discuss how the genre might change in the next 20 years, with Brevik exploring the possibility that collaborative and communication will become integral to the future of ARPGs.

“[Gaming] is a way for people to get together and feel like they belong together,” explained Brevik. “Having a more social experience is what makes games fun… I want to build more relationships with people.”

Brevik explains that MMO elements like online co-op will become essential for ARPGs in the future. Collaborative gaming will help gamers overcome communication barriers and build their teamwork skills, while creating a fun and engaging experience for everyone online.

“We’re still finding the best ways to create a social experience and interact with each other,” Max Schaefer said of the online gaming future.

While we are still in the early days of the online gaming era, it’s clear that the future of ARPGs is changing. A renewed focus on collaboration and co-operation is a logical next step for the genre, as games look to build stronger relationships between their players.

After all, games are powerful tools for bringing people together, and these changes would likely help build new player connections while creating unique and exciting new gaming experiences.

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  • Happily some companies recognise that people enjoy non-collaborative single player experiences, so there is a wide range of experiences available. Just means I’ll keep my current trend of not playing Blizzard games until they get back to that space.

  • I’m confused. Are we supposed to read this like it came from the 90s?

    ARPGs became a collaborative experience from the get go with Diablo having network support. I remember playing it during my uni days with friends on the college networks. MMOs were also starting to boom at the time and their design drew heavily from that of ARPGs but with a larger number of players and a more persistent world. From there, the online experience has only grown.

    Since then the ARPG genre has stagnated a lot. Sure we have had a few changes in terms of how we play like controller support but for the most part people still seem to judge ARPGs on how much like Diablo 2 they are.

    I honestly don’t know where ARPGs have left to grow. Too much in one direction and it’s a 3rd person action game, too far in another and it’s an MMO. Push it a little this way and you get an RTS like Spellforce or Warcraft III, poke it a bit that way and you get Borderlands and Shadow Warrior 2. I guess we’ll maybe see with Diablo 4.

  • “[Gaming] is a way for people to get together and feel like they belong together,” explained Brevik. “Having a more social experience is what makes games fun… I want to build more relationships with people.”

    Every time I see this sentiment from the people who are making games, I want to tear my eyeballs out. It basically tells me: Welcome to the future! You’re going to fucking hate it.

  • I wish the folks who design ARPG would stop shoehorning in MMO mechanics… if I want an MMO experience I will play an MMO..

    The reason I enjoy ARPG is that I can go on my own pace without being “left behind” if I dont dedicate a significant portion of my daily routine. And this whole mmo raid style boss and always online open world is reaaaallyy raisng mmo lite flags for me. I dont mind partying with mates to do boss runs but I dont like partying being compulsory for a boss =/

  • I mean yeah there a games that are awesome with other people. I love playing Smash Bros with my friends. Love playing co-op in some rpgs and stuff as well.

    that said, we all have different schedules and interests. not everyone want’s to play a 100 hour rpg with me or has the time. even 20 hours is daunting.

    then obviously we have the ‘me time’ point. games can be social but, don’t have to be. I mean most of the time I prefer to game by myself. particularly if a game is story heavy. It helps me focus on the fluff instead of the conversation and mechanics.

    I just wish more developers realised that single player experienced as still loved and wanted. they just need it to be multiplayer to justify micro transactions though.

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