Diablo 3 PS3 is being developed but may never release on console

[Update: find out more info about Diablo 3 on PS3 with our developer interview.]

The problem is not that Blizzard aren’t developing Diablo 3 on PS3 – they’ve admitted they are several times over – it’s more a question of whether it’ll ever get released on consoles.

Essentially a PS3 Diablo 3 is being worked on. Way back in January a Blizzard community manager known as Bashiok tweeted this:

 

Trouble is, Blizzard followed that up soon after with the following statement:

“Bashiok’s response on Twitter was intended as a confirmation that we’re actively exploring the possibility of developing a console version of Diablo III, as we’ve mentioned in the past. This is not a confirmation that Diablo III is coming to any console platform.”

This highlights the underlying problem. Somewhere there is almost certainly a PS3 version of Diablo running on a dev kit. It just might not see the light of day. Ever. Blizzard have been burned before on console with Starcraft: Ghost. That was a stealth shooter take on their strategy game originally announced in 2005. Technically it’s never been cancelled with Blizzard’s co-founder Frank Pearce saying it simply wasn’t the “company’s focus” way back in 2008 (it’s almost certainly been canceled).

As recently as May this year game director Jay Wilson was asked if Blizzard were working on a console version of Diablo and answered, “Yeah. We haven’t officially announced it, because we’re not ‘experimenting.’ We tell people that basically we’re experimenting, because it helps us hire people. The better people we hire, the better chance we have to actually make it. That’s why we haven’t kept it super secret, but we also haven’t confirmed it, because we’re not sure yet whether we think it will work, and whether we think we have the resources to do it.”

That last bit’s important. Way back in 2012 Blizzard stated they were exploring “Diablo-related concept for consoles”, suggesting a spin off rather than a port. However in 2011 Wilson spoke about the console version saying, ”The movement actually feels better on the controller. Targeting is the issue”. Apparently the main option for attacking and looting at the time was a reticule, something the development team “didn’t want to do”.

Lead technical artist Julian Love also said in May that, “It’s not just going to be a simple port” before adding, “if we are shipping a console version, I should say, as we are exploring it actually right now – we want to make it feel native to the console, so there’s a lot of decisions to be made and a lot of thought and effort that goes into that”.

One of Love’s comments really sums up the will it/won’t it attitude hanging over the game: “Not every franchise we have we feel can be ported and we feel this is a really good candidate, and we feel like it’s really worth exploring to see whether or not that can happen.”

Thanks GamasutraGIJoystiq and Digitalspy