And remember when all the fanboys/trolls were saying that they would love to take the Diablo license away from Blizzard and give it to Brevik, who was supposedly the brilliant mind behind the success of the first two Diablo games? (Of course those same fanboys/trolls happily ignored the utter failure of Hellgate: London and the tremendous success of Diablo 3.) Some people even insisted that Marvel Heroes would be the true successor to Diablo 2 and that Brevik would give us all the best Diablo-style gaming goodness that we could handle in his free-to-play magnum opus that would succeed in every way that Diablo 3 (supposedly) failed.
Yeah, well, Metacritic average: 57%
Contrast that with Diablo 3's respectable 88%
So how is it that the man who (ostensibly) helped create one of the most successful franchises in gaming could create two sinkers in a row --- Hellgate: London and Marvel Heroes? Perhaps it's worth pointing out that Brevik's contribution to the success of the Diablo games may be slightly exaggerated.
As it turns out, the original Diablo was a success largely because Blizzard devoted tremendous resources to making it so. This is from the blog of former Blizzard employee Patrick Wyatt:
But a higher priority project overshadowed StarCraft and stole its developers one by one. Diablo, a role-playing game being developed by Condor Studios in Redwood City California, was in need of additional help. Condor, a company formed by Dave Brevik along with Max Schaefer and his brother Erich Schaefer, was given a budget of only $1.2 million — ridiculously small even in those days.
The Condor team had no hope of making the game they aspired to build, but they did such ground-breaking work in developing something fun that it made sense for Blizzard to acquire Condor, rename it Blizzard North, and start pouring in the money and staff the game really deserved.
Initially Collin Murray, a programmer on StarCraft, and I flew to Redwood City to help, while other developers at Blizzard “HQ” in Irvine California worked on network “providers” for battle.net, modem and LAN games as well as the user-interface screens (known as “glue screens” at Blizzard) that performed character creation, game joining, and other meta-game functions.
As Diablo grew in scope eventually everyone at Blizzard HQ — artists, programmers, designers, sound engineers, testers — worked on the game until StarCraft had no one left working on the project. Even the project lead was co-opted to finish the game installer that I had half-written but was too busy to complete.
Suddenly the failure of Brevik's post-Blizzard games and the success of Diablo 3 makes a lot more sense, doesn't it?