Original Diablo Dev Roper: Diablo 3 Art Style Doesn't 'Ring with Diablo'

Former Blizzard North VP and original Diablo producer Bill Roper has chimed in on the Diablo 3 art style debate in an interview with VideoGamer, stating that he prefers a "grittier" look to the series rather than Blizzard's current, arguably lighter approach.

"You know, I liked the darker, grittier [style]," said Roper, who chalked up the style of the sequel to the contrary philosophies of Blizzard's Irvine studio and the former home of Diablo, the now-defunct Blizzard North.

"It makes complete sense to me where they went because they basically took the Diablo universe and then approached it from the Blizzard Irvine stance for the visuals," he said. nope "That's the way they approach things. It wasn't that I looked at it and went, 'Oh my god that looks terrible.' I was like, that looks like Blizzard. The guys in Irvine. That's what it looks like to me. Their interpretation of it."

Many fans have taken exception to the game's shift in art style, running petitions in protest of light beams and rainbows. The debate continued for months, with Diablo III lead designer Jay Wilson going so far as to pointedly respond to the complaints while refusing to make changes.

Though Roper understands the artistic choices behind Diablo III's look, he doesn't prefer it as a fan of the series.

"I think that one of the things that we always tried to get across was that Diablo was Gothic fantasy and I think there was just a need that was put in there from the visuals that I didn't necessarily get," he added.

"I got it from the architecture and to a degree from the character design, but not the feeling of the world. I can't say that I dislike it. I didn't look at it and go, 'Oh my god that's horrible.' But I looked at it and went, it's not really... to me as a player it just didn't really ring with Diablo."