Marvel Heroes developer Gazillion Entertainment is standing by company president David Brevik after Diablo 3 game director Jay Wilson hit out at him on Facebook.
Speaking to IncGamers at Gamescom, Brevik, who co-founded Blizzard North and designed Diablo 1 and 2, was asked about Diablo 3.
He replied: I have very mixed emotions about it. On one hand I am sad that people haven't enjoyed Diablo because it's a love, a passion, and it's obvious people still have a giant love and passion for Diablo and they are speaking out about it because they have such love for it. That makes me feel great.
"I am sad because people are outraged and, you know, some of the decisions they have made are not the decisions I would make and there have been changes in philosophy and that hasn't gone over very well. I think in that way I am a little sad.
"I am also a little happy, which I hate to say, shows that the people that were involved in Diablo really did matter, and so I am happy that it has come to light that how talented that group was and how unique and special that group was. I am hoping that, as this happens very often in the industry, you see it with Call of Duty and things like that, when the people leave the game changes and it shows how critical people are in this industry."
The interview sparked an angry Facebook post by former Diablo 3 technical artist Chris Haga, who said: "Suddenly I feel like I was just thrown under a bus." Other Diablo 3 developers also chimed in, including Wilson, who said: "F*** that loser." His comment was deleted soon after it was published, but not before eagle-eyed Diablo fans took a screen grab and posted it on Reddit.
Eurogamer asked Brevik's company Gazillion for a statement by way of right of reply, and VP or marketing Leo Olebe told us the company was standing by him.
"We admire Blizzard and Blizzard games," Olebe said. "David was asked about Diablo 3 and gave his honest opinion and we stand by him 100 per cent. Marvel Heroes is David's vision and is the spiritual successor to Diablo 2.
"We'll be in closed beta soon, so visit MarvelHeroes.com if you want to check it out."
As the story developed last night Wilson came in for criticism for his apparent heavy-handed reaction to what was essentially a muted response from Brevik on the controversial Diablo 3.
A number of game developers took to Twitter to share their thoughts. Mark Kern, CEO of Firefall developer Red 5 and former Diablo 2 producer, said: "Gotta say, that Jay Wilson, never having been at Blizzard for D1 and D2 and never having met Dave Brevik, has no place to say what he did.
"Dave Brevik created 2 genre-busting, award winning, world-loved Diablo games. Jay Wilson has done ____ with Diablo 3. Fill in the blanks.
"Blizzard arrogance has reached new heights."
Eurogamer interviewed Brevik at Gamescom, and also asked him about Diablo 3. We will publish his response later today.
We've also asked Blizzard for comment but are yet to receive a response.