Last week a video was released showing two senior developers working on it Diablo IV: Associate Game Director Joseph Piepiora and Art Director John Mueller. In the clip, the pair are treated to a series of questions from “fans”, which they answer at length, but it doesn’t take long to dig around to discover that the questions are… oddly specific.
Here’s the video, posted on the Future Games Show channel, and left me guessing to promote the game and the show, which is an annual exhibition for a British media publisher, and specifically its video game website GamesRadar:
Philtacular was watching and was among those who found his question a little oddand with the helpful Future Game Show providing social media information to every asker, they search one by one.
But it’s not one time! There are many of these!
I won’t stick with it, but there are accounts from other sites too, like Reddit, that also have no trace of ever actually asking that question. This of course raises the notion that the question was fabricated, a ruse that can be explained at least in part by the fact that FGS asked the community questions for a short time. Diablo IV interview returned on May 13th and… did not receive a single reply.
I asked FGS and Blizzard for comment, and Blizzard has responded, notifying my city “Blizzard was not involved in the question-gathering process.” A community representative also posted about the video on Diablo subredditsays “this is an interview Joe and John did on their EU press tour last week with multiple outlets. [These] interview questions come from media outlets and we just answer them. The team followed up with the outlet to ask where the questions were coming from.
If the question is indeed far-fetched, this is simply the funniest example of the futility of piecing together these forgettable pre-release promos; what’s so unflinching about this arrangement that, after apparently not accepting actual questions, some of the crap seems far-fetched rather than, I don’t know, getting staff on GamesRadar—the video game website that brings together the event—to ask just a few questions? Why bother? This is a stupid scandal over something no one will care about!
Update 5/30/2023 12:04 PM ET: The Future Game Show channel posted an update on the situation in YouTube comments relevant video interview. “We messed up,” it began. The seemingly fake user handles for some of the questions seem to be randomly generated to maintain the anonymity of genuine fans behind questions. It’s not clear how some fictional names ended up matching real, inactive Twitter accounts. Here’s the full statement:
This video was originally titled ‘Diablo IV developers answer YOUR questions’.
The intent of the video is for Diablo IV developers to react and answer questions from the community.
However, the questions we asked the developers were a mixture of questions sourced from the Diablo 4 fanbase and from members of the FGS editorial team. Some community users (and members of our team) who submitted this question asked to be anonymous and have their usernames – and the platform they asked the question on – changed for the purposes of this video.
New usernames are randomly generated, but on further investigation some of them are associated with real accounts (albeit inactive accounts with very few posts or followers) which have nothing to do with the creation of these videos.
This is not explained in the video and we apologize for the confusion caused. Activision Blizzard and the Diablo 4 developers did NOT agree in advance to these questions and were only made aware during the interview itself.
We didn’t clarify the difference between community-led and FGS-led editorial team questions, so we’ve updated the video titles and thumbnails for transparency.
Thank you for your feedback. We will do better. FGS Team