Blizzard has appointed a new game director to work on Diablo 4 in the form of Joe Shely.
Joe Shely is hardly a newcomer to Blizzard; he has been with the company since 2005. He replaces Luis Barriga, who departed in August amid a lawsuit over the company’s toxic workplace environment.
Shely has worked on the Diablo 4 team since 2017 and his official Bio states that his responsibilities include: “guiding efforts to deliver the deep, compelling systems and visceral combat Diablo is known for, and has been the overall caretaker of the combat experience.”
He also led the team that created the first Diablo 4 playable demo at BlizzCon in 2019.
For those that aren’t aware DIABLO 4 is an upcoming dungeon crawler RPG developed by Blizzard. This will be the fourth installment in the franchise that features re-playable, procedurally generated dungeons, and loot-focused character-building.
Diablo 4 will have new features too such as an open world, and player versus player (PVP) interactions. Four playable classes have been announced – Barbarian, Sorceress, Druid, and Rogue – all of which have appeared in the series. Players guide their character through quests and combat in the world of Sanctuary as the once banished Lilith returns to wreak havoc.
Shely started working on Diablo III soon after it was released. He worked on creatures, bosses, systems, Adventure Mode, and Greater Rift tuning for Reaper of Souls. He also contributed to Greyhollow Island’s monster design.
In his statement, Shely stated:” As a design lead who has been working on this dark, shared, an open-world action role-playing game from the beginning, I’m honored to continue the vision of Diablo 4 as its new Game Director, and I’m humbled to represent the team pouring their hearts into this game. Like many of you, our team has been reflecting upon recent events. A lot has happened since our last blog and the hard work of practicing the values we aspire to must continue. In parallel with that important work, development of Diablo 4 continues too.”
He spoke about the game itself too saying:
“Sanctuary should always be items glittering in dark dungeons. Tales of powerful heroes standing against the onslaught of hell. Lands where trials, treasure, and terrible monsters lie around every corner, equal parts familiar and boundless in its possibilities. Doing this world justice is a solemn responsibility.”
Blizzard’s latest update about Diablo 4 has unfortunately not given us a release date and Joe Shely has simply said “We have ways to go”. Shely did mention Diablo 4’s audio calling it “a sometimes underappreciated yet integral element of the game’s design.”
“Crafting Diablo’s sound requires science, art… and the occasional ball of fire,” Shely wrote. “Sound Supervisor Kris Giampa and his team have fascinating insights to share in this behind-the-scenes look at how it all works.”
We will be keeping you up to date on all developing details of this upcoming, much-anticipated installment in the popular Diablo franchise.