When Diablo III was announced, many fans reacted on the difference in art style direction. While the previous two titles in the series has been dark and gothic inspired, the screenshots of Diablo III shows a very colorful and more "normal" fantasy world.
A list where people show how unhappy they are about Diablo III's art direction was made, where they've managed to collect over 52 000 signatures with the purpose to change Blizzard's mind, but now it seems like it was done in vain. In an interview with MTV Multiplayer, the developer Jay Wilson reveals that it's too late to make any changes to the new style. Not to mention they don’t want to change it.
We’re very happy with how the art style is. The art team’s happy. The company’s happy. We really like this art style, and we’re not changing it.
According to Wilson the earlier concept images of Diablo III use to be darker and more inline with the old style, but it didn't work very well with the games third person view he said.
When you have 30 creatures on screen — and four or five different types — target prioritization is a factor,” he said. “You need to be able to tell those things apart fast, and you can’t do that when your world is gray and your creatures are gray.