Just because Blizzard finally got a wholly new franchise out the door this year doesn't mean the game maker isn't keen on milking its older franchises for everything they're worth. But one of those series, Diablo, has seen a bit of a content freeze since its 2014 expansion launched. While the company loves refreshing a game launch with expansion packs, Diablo III has been sitting idle for a while. Now we might know why.
A brand-new "unannounced" entry in the Diablo world was, er, announced on Friday by way of an official job posting for—get this—the next entry's director. It's the game-news equivalent of New Line Cinema saying a new Lord of the Rings film is coming but, whoops, Peter Jackson's not involved, and they could really use a new person to get this thing up and running.
The post seeks someone to "lead the Diablo series into the future." While such a public push for a series director might read like an attempt to bring more diversity into the hiring pool, we'd frankly be shocked to see anybody other than the industry's old-guard vets fulfilling application requirements such as five years of game-directing experience and shipping "multiple AAA products as a game director or creative director." The job posting mentions nothing about virtual reality or other experimental hardware.
The call for an outside hire may speak to a lack of internal focus on how the next Diablo should turn out—and 2015 job postings for the Diablo series are proof that Blizzard hasn't rested on its hands regarding the series' future, at any rate. However, it also means the company isn't about to hand the reins back to Jay Wilson, Diablo III's original and much maligned director. He was shifted to other Blizzard projects following his departure from the Diablo team in 2013.
Longtime Diablo fans shouldn't hold their breath about series creator David Brevik applying for the gig, however. When Brevik appeared at this March's Game Developers Conference to speak about Diablo 1's creation, he didn't burn any bridges or say anything spiteful about his Blizzard days. But he did use that speech to reaffirm that he is happy with his job as creative director of new indie studio Graybeard Games (which he formed after leaving the action-RPG MMO Marvel Heroes behind.)