Blizzard have suggested in the latest issue of GameInformer that should Diablo III make the jump to consoles, it is imperative that the game feels like it was built for those platforms, rather than simply being a port of a PC game.
'We don’t want to port it,' said Diablo III’s director, Jay Wilson. 'We want to build it for console. There’s a key difference. Certainly, a lot of things get brought over, but a port is trying to take a PC game and graft it onto a console.
'Our goal, is to make a game that feels like it’s natively made made for a console. If we make it, we want it to feel like a Blizzard game and that we built it for that platform from the ground up.'
There are a few hurdles to climb first, though, and the studio are already in talks with console manufacturers. 'Everyone wants a Blizzard games on consoles happen,' said Wilson, 'and [console makers] are some of the most eager.'
It's a move that has forced Blizzard to partially change the way they operate, having conducted a huge recruitment drive for console-focused talent.
'The lead designer, Joshua Mosquiera was the leader designer of Company of Heroes and a former creative director at Ubisoft with a lot of console experience,” Wilson said. “We are starting to fill the team out with new hires and some core members of the Diablo III team. Because we are close to done with [the PC version], some groups finish before others, mostly the art group. We’re able to ferry over some art talent to the console group.
We are still in active exploring mode; we haven’t officially announced a product. We say that because we like our product announcements to be a big deal. We haven’t been as secretive about this one because our biggest barrier is actually getting a console team.'
Wilson also notes that there are a number of sceptics out there, and concedes that Blizzard has never looked at investing so heavily in console-oriented development ever before. But he says that this is because the studio have never felt like they had an appropriate product, the implication being that now they most certainly do.
'People don’t believe us when we say we’re going to make a console game – flat out. I understand why they don’t believe us, because we’ve tried this before. We’ve also never invested in it to the degree that we are doing now, and we’ve never had a product we felt was appropriate for it.'