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Blizzard’s Jay Wilson publicly apologises for David Brevik comment

22 Aug 2012  by   Paul Younger
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It looks like the the Jay Wilson / David Brevik Facebook fiasco has come to a head this evening with an official update on the matter. Following our Marvel Heroes interview with David Brevik earlier in the week, Diablo 3 lead Jay Wilson had posted a comment, which he thought was private on Facebook, stating “F**ck that loser” over comments David made in our interview about Diablo 3.

Jay Wilson has this evening issued a public apology to the Blizzard community which reads as follows:

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 defense 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 defense. 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 recognize. 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 apologize 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.

So it looks like the whole mess has ended up with an apology to save some face which is good news. I think Blizzard has learned a harsh lesson over this incident and Jay has obviously had some time to reflect on the “F**ck that loser” comment which was highly uncalled for, whether he was “in defense of the team and the game” or not.

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  1. fuck that loser

    fuck that loser

    August 23, 2012 at 12:04 am

    1. jon775

      lol’d

      August 23, 2012 at 12:34 am
  2. A bit late. Thats an apology to the community more then an apology to Brevik. Hope he pulls his head out of the sand and calls Brevik and talks to him about it a bit. Then apologize for what he said to him directly. If this happens then awesome. Not that any of us would ever know if it did. Id like to think he would though.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:44 am

  3. Way Jilson

    who cares if he is apologizing to the community. we had nothing to do with it in the first place. what he said was an insult to one specific person, and it sort of feels like he made the post as a form of damage control for diablo “fans”. i’m pretty sure his entire apology statement was pulled out of his ass, just as the dev team’s ability to make a “good game” .

    August 23, 2012 at 12:46 am

  4. Blizz-fart

    Jay is not apologizing for what he said, he is apologizing for the fact that he got called out for what he said. I’m sure he felt no remorse at all in those several layers of chins and fat he calls a head

    August 23, 2012 at 12:49 am

  5. junkwaffles

    someone should check into the reports of registered members of the d3 battle.net site getting banned from the site for speaking out and saying how awful d3 is. people paid good money for d3 and waited a very long time and if they are critical they get banned from the site. thats not good business.

    August 23, 2012 at 12:52 am
    1. owch, banhammer in full force!

      August 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm

  6. psyounger

    I tend to agree that an apology was needed but it should have been pointed toward David Brevik, not the community who were only upset because of what he had said about David and the previous games.

    It’s also a odd that a game update post should be included, perhaps waving a shiny carrot at the community would act as a distraction to the real issue at hand. Blizzard PR would have been very careful when checking over this to make sure Blizzard as a company comes out unscathed.

    It was good he apologised as it was the right thing to do but if he had not got caught out in the way he did, their real feelings on critical comments with regards to the game would never have come to light.

    August 23, 2012 at 1:55 am

  7. djstar

    Blizzard tried to bury the debacle under a deluge of updates that same day but it didn’t work.

    Blizzard had no choice but to get him to apologize publicly. He was lucky not to lose his job.

    He was completely disrespectful to David Brevik by calling him a loser. Even if it was not for the general publics’ eyes it was on facebook where ex (maybe current) colleagues of David’s would see it and other people within the industry.

    Blizzard’s reputation has come in for a knocking recently with the lukewarm reception of Diablo 3 and with this reaction by him and others on the development team their name was becoming dirt.

    He put this apology out because he was caught and the company were ashamed of his behavior but he buried it under discussion about the game and why he called him a fucking loser. He should have the balls to apologise without the misdirection.

    I hope he has apologized to David Brevik.

    August 23, 2012 at 2:06 am

    1. jon775

      In other words, Fuck that loser!

      August 23, 2012 at 11:00 am
      1. Indeed, fuck that loser!

        August 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm

  8. JayWilson

    What a fuckin’ loser

    August 23, 2012 at 2:41 am

  9. VegasRage

    A large part of me wants to rant at Jay Wilson for all that is wrong with D3, instead I’ll say I’m glad to hear he is considering a players 8 type patch to allow users to change game play difficulty.

    I love D3 normal mode, I have not and will not bother playing nightmare or further because D3 does not scale evenly from normal to nightmare like D2 did so well. I never played Diablo to defeat the highest levels. I played hell mode once in D2 for just Act I, after that I never bothered playing it again because it wasn’t fun for me. I could play and defeat D3 in nightmare, but it would be more of a frustration than fun for me, so I’m left with normal mode unless Blizzard fixes how D3’s game play scales up.

    I really hope they do, because I probably won’t play D3 much longer in normal mode.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:58 am

  10. An Amused Guest

    I love how he tries to paint himself as valiantly defending his team from the harsh indignancies of David Brevik’s words. I also love how, if you actually read the transcript, Brevik’s words didn’t say a single disparaging comment about the team. Instead, he specifically outlined how he felt that the new team worked to the best of their ability despite having expertise in a different field.

    At the end of the day, Brevik did absolutely nothing to warrant any ire, especially since he tried to be as diplomatic as possible in the interview. He chose his words carefully, making an effort not to discount anyone on D3’s team. Conversely, Wilson obviously didn’t bother thinking about his words, then tried to delete the comment in a half-assed attempt to make it go away.

    And as everyone else has stated, he’s apologized to the community, rather than the person he lashed out at for no reason.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:28 am

  11. GordyM

    it’s crazy that jay wilson is even fatter now then he is in thatpic

    August 23, 2012 at 10:41 am

  12. john

    It’s too late now. He apologises because higher-ups ordered him to do so.
    To quote a memorable guy: “F*ck that loser”

    August 23, 2012 at 10:52 am

  13. john

    Didn’t blizzard employees also call incgamers as ‘paragons of objectivity’, aka incgamers is biased? After all this promotion incgamers did for them, they call out incgamers.

    August 23, 2012 at 10:54 am

    1. psyounger

      Well we won’t take it as sarcasm and glad they agree we are paragons of objectivity ;)

      August 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm

  14. Cameroo

    Brevik should apologize to Wilson and his team as well in my opinion. What he said was fucking arrogant as hell.

    January 10, 2013 at 5:17 am

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