Diablo 4 has a new game director: "Doing this world justice is a solemn responsibility"

Diablo 4
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Diablo 4 has a new game director taking the helm after the project's previous leader left Blizzard.

Joe Shely introduced himself in his new role in the latest quarterly Diablo 4 update, and while his title is new, he has been a design lead on the project since it began. His previous credits at Blizzard include system design on Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls and game design on several World of Warcraft expansions starting with The Burning Crusade. Luis Barriga, the previous Diablo 4 game director, left the company over the summer in the midst of the Activision Blizzard lawsuit.

Shely said in the update that the Diablo 4 team "has been reflecting upon recent events" and continuing to do "the hard work of practicing the values we aspire to". Work on the project itself continues as well, and Shely took a moment to outline his broader vision for the world of Diablo.

"Sanctuary should always be items glittering in dark dungeons," Shely wrote. "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."

The rest of the update is dedicated to a deep dive on Diablo 4's sound design, including extensive samples of ambient sound for several regions, what a tree monster sounds like, and how to make gore sound effects without actually tearing anybody in half. That last one would be hard to do while keeping a straight face.

While you're waiting for the next chapter of Diablo to begin, you can check out how Diablo 2 Remastered performs on new-gen consoles.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.