News: On the eve of Diablo III’s release, developers Blizzard say they’ll never make an RPG along the lines of Bethesda’s Skyrim. Why? Game director Jay Wilson explains…
Blizzard have made a range of games. From real-time strategy to action-RPG to, y’know, the biggest MMO in the world – they’ve had their fingers in quite a few pies. So, would they make an epic, open-world title along the lines of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim? Despite its immense popularity – not to mention quality – Blizzard say there’s no chance.
“You never see a game like Skyrim come out of Blizzard,” said Diablo III game director Jay Wilson. Why? ”Just because.”
Fortunately, Wilson ultimately decided not to just leave it there, and explained things further. It’s all about making bold design decisions, he said, while acknowledging that some people aren’t going to like them. And for Blizzard, those design decisions – consistent throughout their canon – are diametrically opposed to the vast, unguided RPG landscapes of The Elder Scrolls.
“Design is a real, real gray area,” he said in the huge interview with Gamasutra. “So I think it’s better to make a strong, bold choice for a more interesting game.
“I think if you look at any of the games that people really, really love, there’s some very, very strong choices there. I really love Skyrim, but there’s a whole different design paradigm at work in a game like that than in a Blizzard game.”
For Blizzard, good design has always been about removing the barriers to entry and guiding players gently towards a traditionally “hardcore” experience, regardless of their initial skill level. Bethesda take a different approach. They assume your experience, then give you a playground in which to do stuff with that experience.
“And it doesn’t mean [Bethesda are] wrong,” Wilson added. “Their design philosophy has been extremely successful for them, but it’s a very different one, and it has its own pros and cons. And it’s the fact that they focused on it is what made them successful, and we’re the same way.”
We’ll find out how successful Blizzard have been with Diablo III when it releases tomorrow.