Blizzard adds a Diablo III senior designer, lays off audio director, and ends XP and Vista support

    
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From zombies to demons, game designer Harrison G. Pink is no stranger to bizarre apocalypses. Pink formerly worked on Telltale Games’ hit Walking Dead and Tales from the Borderlands titles, but nowadays he has a new address: Blizzard Entertainment.

Pink announced on Twitter this week that he was snapped up by the studio to work on Diablo III as a senior game designer. The action-MMO could certainly use a shot of new blood as it dealt with a shaky Patch 2.6 rollout and questions about the game’s future in the studio’s portfolio.

Meanwhile, Gamasutra reports that Blizzard’s in-house senior audio director has been let go by the studio after 12 years of service, apparently in favor of freelance contractors. Russell Brower explains that “as the company has grown, the topography of the Sound team has adjusted accordingly, and the last couple of years have been no exception. With the success of a ‘sound de-centralization’ initiative, my current position of overall Sr. Audio Director/Composer is no longer relevant and is being eliminated.”

While we’re on the subject of Blizzard and its games, it’s a good time to remind players out there with older computers that the studio is preparing to cut off support for Windows XP and Vista come this October. Blizzard posted a reminder on this yesterday, saying that once the support is dropped, players will no longer be able to access the studio’s games using those operating systems.

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ceder
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ceder

Freelance and 3rd world outsourcing/subcontracting is becoming more and more prevalent in games. Ark for example has had 3 outsources and then buying out of mods(which really is just round about freelancing).

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Danny Smith

Man, 3 days into trying Legion i got a refund because only the music felt like it was still WoW.

So i guess thats it for me.

Not that i imagine he will have trouble finding work elsewhere so good luck to the dude.

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Leviathonlx

Yea ok. Also a good amount of Legions music isn’t from Russell. You seem to have missed the part where he says he’ll still do freelance work for Blizzard.

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Sally Bowls

I’m glad to see XP&Vista gone; the internet is safer. I’m sorry to see Bowers gone.

This may have a lot to do with the trend that many companies, but especially ones as cyclical as gaming, are going to contractors. But there is also a centralization/decentralization strategy that goes on in businesses. Some ambitious exec says why do we have the X task in each of our separate product groups, it would be more efficient to have a centralized department to do X. Later, another ambitious exec says let’s empower the teams to do a better job by getting rid of the central X department and moving the responsibility out to the teams. Still later, the cycle continues.

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Rottenrotny

What in the actual fuck? This dude is responsible for some of the most epic and iconic video game soundtracks ever. Whoever a blizzard is in charge of this decision is an idiot.
Yes yes, I read that he said he’ll probably be contributing in the future as a freelance composer, but after all he’s done at blizzard they fire him? /facepalm
I’ve seen him and several of the other talented musicians from Blizzard perform at BlizzCon a few times and it’s always one of the highlights of the convention for me.

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KumiKaze

I’m pretty sad to see Brower go. StarCraft II and WoW have some awesome music done by him. Look forward to hearing what he will do next.

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Sray

Goodbye Windows XP! Once you were great OS for gaming; but now you’re just a barnacle on the ship of gaming technology.

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agemyth 😩

Always good to know that even as a 12 year veteran and in a “senior” position you are expendable when there are always people who will the work for less compensation and as freelancers.

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Richard de Leon III

Capitalism at its finest…:(

I wish companies were more like the olden days, where they took care of their employees even after retirement (with pensions etc). But the realities of the modern economy preclude that.

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Greaterdivinity

So does that mean D3 will get actual development support? Or is he just going to work on cranking out some more monetized DLC content a la Necro?

Just release the HD versions of D2 already, then call it a day.

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kidwithknife

Ouch. Kinda cold having the guy explain his own downsizing.

Edit: Doh, NM. Didn’t realize it was a post on his FB and not an official announcement.

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Targeter

Whoa, they axed Russell Brower? That’s rather unexpected. He had some great themes.