Activision Blizzard has hired a new game director for their upcoming dark fantasy action RPG Diablo IV. According to a recent quarterly update for the game (which focused on sound design), Joe Shely has been tapped to direct the project. Shely previously worked as a lead designer on Diablo III.
Joe Shely first joined Blizzard in 2005 where he worked as a designer on several projects at the time including World of Warcraft and Diablo III. Shely will replace Luis Barriga, who left Activision Blizzard following allegations of workplace misconduct, sexual harassment and discrimination against women at the company. A lawsuit from the state of California targeted many executives allegedly responsible for the actions or neglect, one of which was believed to be Barriga.
Shely had some words to say about taking on the mantle of Diablo IV‘s game director:
“As a design lead who has been working on this dark, shared, open world action role-playing game from the beginning, I’m honored to continue the vision of Diablo IV as its new Game Director, and I’m humbled to represent the team pouring their hearts into this game.”
Much of the quarterly update for Diablo IV was spent on highlighting the game’s sound design, particularly enemies, spells and ambience. We also got our first look at the ambience that will play in the final game while players are out exploring the environments of Sanctuary and beyond. So far, the game is promising a return to form for the Diablo franchise, implementing a darker tone than Diablo III while also delivering on its more gothic-inspired art style and visuals.
The central villain of Diablo IV will be the daughter of Mephisto, Lilith, or otherwise more popularly known in Sanctuary as the Queen of the Succubi. The cinematic reveal trailer gave our first glimpse at Lilith’s return, and exactly what we’ll be up against in the next major game.
Diablo IV is still in development, though is expected to release for consoles and PC.