Look & Listen Diablo III midnight launch a rocking success

Look & Listen, situated in Fourways Johannesburg, held one hell of an epic Diablo III launch party! Upon arrival to the midnight launch, gamers were treated to some rather tasty snacks, coldrinks and a phenomenal evening of entertainment. The event kicked off at around 21:15pm and gamers attended in the masses. Among the attendees was the team from Megarom Interactive, official distributor of Diablo III in South Africa.

Apart from the main highlight of the release of Diablo III, the team at Look & Listen entertained gamers with stylish fire dancers. The fire dancers thrilled the crowd with intense, theatrical movements using various tools of the fire dancing trade, which included the world renowned Poi – A pair of roughly arm-length chains with handles attached to one end and bundled with wicking material on the other, and Staffs – A rod of wood or metal, with wicking material applied to one or both ends.

If fire dancers were not enough, the crowd was also treated to an exuberant performance by local South African metal band, Agro. Agro enticed the crowd with a powerful performance that really set the mood for the launch of one the most anticipated games of 2012. Cliff Crabb, lead singer of Agro, also hyped up the fans at the Diablo III launch with some fantastic giveaways, which included Diablo III merchandise and other awesome goodies.

Formed in Johannesburg, South Africa in the early 1990’s, Agro have been the forerunners of Heavy Metal on the African continent for many years and continue striving to enlighten all in their path, preaching the true ethics of real metal! To be honest, Agro’s music can be best described as powerful, heavy, fast, intriguing and ultimately symphonic. The band truly knows how to entertain a crowd and many attendees to the Diablo III midnight launch were rocking the night away in style… Cosplay style!

While I have attended many midnight launches in the past, the team at Look & Listen really blew my mind! Here is hoping to attend many more launches like this in future.


Diablo III director steps down

Diablo III game director Jay Wilson has decided to leave the title to pursue “something new” within Blizzard. Wilson announced his departure in a post on the official Battle.Net forums.

“I recently celebrated my seven-year anniversary working on Diablo III, and while it’s been one of the most challenging and rewarding periods of my life, I’ve reached a point creatively where I’m looking forward to working on something new. The powers that be at Blizzard have been gracious enough to give me that opportunity. Over the course of the next several weeks, I will be moving off of the Diablo III project and transitioning elsewhere within Blizzard. This decision was not an easy one for me, and not one I made quickly, but ultimately it’s what I feel is right,” wrote Wilson.

“The first thing I want to assure you all is that this will not negatively impact our ongoing support of Diablo III. We have lots of things planned for the future, and those plans will carry forward as normal. I also won’t be abandoning the team, and will remain available to them during the transition period while we determine who will take over duties as game director.”

According to Wilson’s post, Blizzard does not currently have a replacement director lined up already. He also tackled some of the criticism leveled at the game.

“I know some of you feel we fell short of our promise to release the game ‘when it’s ready.’ While we’re not perfect, we try to make the best decisions we can with the information and knowledge we have at the time. That doesn’t mean we always make the right decisions, but if we made a mistake then I feel we’ve made an exceptional effort to correct it,” he wrote.

“This is what you can always count on from Blizzard: that we will stand by our games and make every effort to continually improve them over time. We heard the feedback and suggestions from the community. Our commitment to making our games as good as they can be is what has always defined Blizzard as a game studio, and that commitment never ends for us at a ship date,” Wilson added.

“To that end, patch 1.0.7 is underway, the PTR is live, and there are many other great things brewing for Diablo in 2013. I’m leaving Diablo III in good hands, and my departure will not jeopardize the progress of the game as we continue to do what we do: listen, play, and improve.”

There’s no word on where Wilson is landing within Blizzard, but the company is still currently working on its next MMO Project Titan. The game has no specific release window at this point. During an interview in September of 2012, Blizzard vice president of game design Rob Pardo told Curse Gaming that the game is “in the middle of development” within a team of “over 100 people”.