Blizzard has never committed to a console project as it is, now, with Diablo 3 – the days of out-sourced and eventually scrapped last-gen project StarCraft Ghost should be forgotten.
“I understand why they don’t believe us,” he said, “because we’ve tried this before.
“We’ve also never invested in it to the degree that we are doing now, and we’ve never had a product we felt was appropriate for it.”
Despite Wilson’s candid remarks, Diablo 3 on console hasn’t officially been announced – although the developer has been not-so-secretly building a console development team for it.
“We are still in active exploring mode,” explained Wilson. “We haven’t officially announced a product.
“We say that because we like our product announcements to be a big deal. We haven’t been as secretive about this one because our biggest barrier is actually getting a console team.”
When Diablo 3 was announced for PC, at BlizzCon 2008, fans were treated to blow-out of game information, extensive of gameplay video footage and masses of screenshots.
As Blizzard’s first console project, Diablo 3 shoulders extra pressure. This has to be a spectacular console debut – one that will live up to the company’s daunting reputation on PC.
“We don’t want to port it,” declared Wilson. “We want to build it for console. There’s a key difference. Certainly, a lot of things get brought over, but a port is trying to take a PC game and graft it onto a console.”
“Our goal is to make a game that feels like it’s natively made made for a console.
“If we make it, we want it to feel like a Blizzard game and that we built it for that platform from the ground up.”
With full production on console Diablo 3 either not yet under way, or scarcely begun, it may be that Blizzard looks to the next generation of machines to house its game. The playing field would be level, and Blizzard may find the platform holders more malleable when negotiating Diablo 3’s online pursuits – the real-money auction house may take some green-lighting. A debut on a new generation of consoles would also ensure Diablo 3 a long life – something Blizzard is eager to support on PC and Mac.
Wilson said the console makers – presumably Microsoft and Sony – have “been eager to work with” the Diablo 3 maker so far.
“Everyone wants Blizzard games on consoles to happen, and [console makers] are some of the most eager,” said Wilson. “So, I’m hopeful. It’s hard for me to say beyond that.”
The Diablo 3 console team will be helmed by lead designer Joshua Mosquiera, who lead designed Company of Heroes and was a creative director at Ubisoft.
“We are starting to fill the team out with new hires and some core members of the Diablo III team,” explained Wilson. “Because we are close to done with [the PC version], some groups finish before others, mostly the art group. We’re able to ferry over some art talent to the console group.”