Rod Fergusson's career up until this point is basically: There and back again, a Rod Fergusson tale. He's known for his work on the Gears of War franchise, before he left Epic Games in 2012 to join Irrational Games and help finish up development on BioShock Infinite. Then in 2014, he landed back on Gears of War-specifically as studio head of the Xbox Games studio, The Coalition. Today, he has announced today that he's leaving The Coalition to head up the Diablo team at Blizzard.
Starting in March, I will join Blizzard to oversee the Diablo franchise. Leaving is bittersweet as I love our Gears family, the fans, and everyone at The Coalition and Xbox. Thank you, it has been an honor and a privilege to work with you all. pic.twitter.com/0FuO3RFYSQ— Rod Fergusson (@GearsViking) February 5, 2020
Ironically, earlier this week we published a profile of Fergusson after News Editor Eric Van Allen got a chance to sit down with him at PAX South. The pair discussed Fergusson's reputation in the games industry of being a "closer," as in, the type of person who comes into a project at the end of its cycle, and helps it cross the finish line. "The team at Epic, and the team at Irrational, and the team at The Coalition, they build the games," Fergusson told us just weeks ago. "I just try to give them a path."
Now, it appears he will be helping two key Blizzard titles cross their own finish lines. Fergusson has announced he will be overseeing the Diablo franchise, which currently has as-we-currently-know two games in development: Diablo 4 and Diablo Immortal. Diablo 4 was formally announced at BlizzCon 2019, a year after Blizzard announced the mobile offshoot Diablo Immortal. At BlizzCon 2019, director Luis Barriga noted that Diablo 4 wasn't releasing anytime soon. "Not even Blizzard soon," he added. It's set to be a departure from past Diablos, with its own social hub, world events, and even an open-world.
Blizzard in the past couple years has had some high profile departures. President and CEO Mike Morhaime stepped down from his roles in 2018, and was replaced by J. Allen Brack. He formally left the company in 2019. Frank Pearce announced in 2019 that he was transitioning to an advising role from his position of Chief Development Officer. Now, we'll see in due time if Fergusson can help the Diablo team bring Diablo 4 to launch.