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"The number one personality was definitely David. Without him, there's no way this could have ever happened. He was the fearless leader of us all, and drove the development day to day, especially when things were going weird or we had to get back on track. So, I think, to me, he was the shining leader that made this thing work out. He had the technical skills to get anything done when we did have a hump, when it, oh, it turns out we were going to make this game a multiplayer game, or we were going to turn this thing that started out, famously, people talk about as a turn based game, it became real time halfway through, and it only took Dave about a day to do that."

- Erich Schaefer on Brevik's work on Diablo(src)

David Brevik

David Brevik

David Brevik is the creator of the Diablo series and former president of Blizzard North.


Early Career[]

Brevik went to school in the California Bay Area. Brevik has stated that as early as high school he was thinking about what kind of games he'd like to make, and what their names would be.[1] He played the Atari 2600 in his youth. He began designing what would become Diablo when he was 16.[2]

Brevik obtained a degree in computer science. While in college, he was exposed to Roguelikes, which influenced his early Diablo ideas.[2]

After college, Brevik worked at a digital clip art company named FM Waves[2] that eventually went under.[1] While there, Brevik worked on Gordo 106, alongside Erich and Max Schaefer. Brevik disliked his time working there, and the three dreamed of leaving the company.[2]

Brevik left the company after 4/5 months, after which he began working at Iguana Entertainment. He worked on Aero the Acro-Bat, which was his first team collaboration. He also briefly worked on NBA Jam. He left Iguana when it moved to Austin, Texas, as he didn't want to move himself.[2]


In the aftermath of FM's closure, a few of its former employees went on to launch their own company, named after a secret project the clip art company had been working on: "Project Condor."[1] Alongside Max and Erich Schaefer, Brevik was one of the founders of Condor, later known as Blizzard North.[3]

Brevik worked on its first game, NFL Quarterback Club '95, and later, the Genesis version of Justice League Task Force.[2]

Blizzard North[]

Brevik thought of the name "Diablo" when he lived in Danville, California, which is situated at the base of Mount Diablo. The name appealed to him, though he did not realize that Diablo translates as "devil" in Spanish until much later.[4] He worked as the lead programmer and senior designer for Diablo I. [3] Brevik protested against the decision to turn it from a turn-based game to a real-time one, but relented as the rest of Blizzard North agreed with the change in direction. In late 1996, Brevik was offered a position in a company started by Sabeer Bhatia, where he would have a 10% share. Brevik refused, and Bhatia's company eventually became Hotmail. Brevik has since estimated that as of 2016, had he taken the position, he would have earned $280 million.[1]

Alongside the Schaefers, Brevik was one of the principal designers for Diablo II.[3] Among his contributions was the game's skill tree. According to Brevik, the idea came to him while he was in the shower.[5] He didn't work extensively on the game's expansion, as he was suffering from burnout on Diablo II.[6]

Brevik briefly worked on Starblo.[2]


Brevik left Blizzard North shortly after Blizzard Entertainment's purchase by Vivendi. Blizzard North closed soon afterwards.[2]

Brevik co-founded Flagship Studios, once again with the Shaefers and other former Blizzard North members.[7] He later moved on to become CEO at Gazillion Entertainment, working on Marvel Heroes.[3] He has since left Gazillion to found Graybeard Games,[8] as he wanted to get back to game development rather than be a CEO.[2]

Brevik has expressed a dim view of Diablo III, and has cited Marvel Heroes as its spiritual successor.[4] As of 2017, Brevik appears to have taken a more charitable view on the game.[9] This remained true in 2018, with Brevik stating "I thought that they added a lot of really great stuff to it that fleshed it out and made it a much better game than I thought that it was at launch."[10]

Brevik visited Blizzard's campus in October, 2016. The same month, he tweeted that "for 20 years, Diablo-like games have evolved & surprised us. I'm proud to be the adviser for the game that pushes this genre to new heights."[11] The tweet was accompanied by an image of the constellation of Libra, which, in sidereal astrology, covers the period of October 16 to November 17 (a period in which BlizzCon 2016 would fall into).[12] He confirmed soon afterwards that he wasn't returning to the series.[13] It was later revealed that he was acting as an adviser for the Chinese release of Path of Exile,[14] a game that he had previously called "Diablo 2.5."[15] He featured in the 20th anniversary panel for the series at BlizzCon 2016.[16]

In February 2017, Brevik confirmed that he'd talked to Blizzard a few times about returning to work on the Diablo series (or another Blizzard project), but stated that he was focusing on his own work for now,[17] working on an action-focused RPG.[18]

In an interview published in January 2018, Brevik announced that he was working on a new game called It Lurks Below.[19] The game is a spiritual successor to Diablo II and features game mechanics similar to Terraria and Minecraft. On April 25, 2018, the game entered Early Access mode on Steam.[20] The game released on Steam on May 29, 2019.[21] Brevik created the game singlehandedly; a first for his career.[2]

In an interview before the announcement of Diablo IV, Brevik stated he would be open to working on a fourth mainline entry in the Diablo series.[2] However, to best knowledge, Brevik played no role in the development of the game.


This section contains facts and trivia relevant to this article.
  • Brevik plays Dungeons and Dragons. He had admitted that it's been a great influence on his game design, that he will usually use DnD class archtypes as a basis for the classes in his games.[22]
  • Despite his early work in the genre, Brevik has stated that he will never go back to working on platformers.[2]
  • Brevik is a fan of Lord of the Rings.[2]
  • His favorite class in the Diablo series is the Barbarian, with the Necromancer a close second.[2]
  • Civerb's Cudgel is named after him.[2]
  • Brevik has included a Secret Cow Level equivalent in every game he's worked on since Diablo II.[2]
  • Brevik prefers the atmosphere of Diablo I to its sequel, though acknowledges that both games are "dark." He considers Diablo II the superior game overall.[2]
  • Brevik has played the piano since the age of 6. He also plays other instruments, and was in a marching band in high school and college.[2]
  • By his own admission, Brevik is terrible at sports. This is partly because he is blind in one eye, which means he doesn't have depth perception.[2]
  • If able to be transported into any of his games, Brevik would be transported into the world of Quarterback Club, as, by his own admission, most of his games' worlds would be terrible places to live in.[2]
  • If able to work on any past game, Brevik would work on Ultima IV, Doom, or Pokémon Red/Blue, as he is a massive fan of the IP.[2]
  • His favorite games of all time include Pokémon (as a franchise), Ultima IV, Doom, EverQuest, and Angband. His favorite Blizzard game is World of Warcraft.[2]
  • If he could share a drink with any videogame character, it would be Deckard Cain.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 2016-03-18, 20 years later, David Brevik shares the story of making Diablo. Gamastura, accessed on 2016-03-24
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2024-06-07, The Making of Diablo - David Brevik Interview. YouTube, accessed on 2024-06-10
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 2015-09-08, In Their Own Words: An Oral History of Diablo II With David Brevik, Max Schaefer, and Erich Schaefer. US Gamer, accessed on 2015-09-11
  4. 4.0 4.1 2012-08-19, Interview: Diablo Creator David Brevik Discusses His Feelings on Diablo 3. Diablo IncGamers, accessed on 2015-05-26
  5. 2015-09-08, In Their Own Words: An Oral History of Diablo II With David Brevik, Max Schaefer, and Erich Schaefer. US Gamer, accessed on 2015-09-11
  6. 2019-06-28, Diablo 2 Legacy Recounted by Stay Awhile and Listen Author. Diablo.net, accessed on 2019-07-07
  7. 2003-09-22, FLAGSHIP STUDIOS LAUNCHES WITH A SPLASH. Blue's News, accessed on 2015-09-11
  8. 2016-01-09, DAVID BREVIK’S NEW COMPANY IS GRAYBEARD GAMES; EXPECT AN RPG. Massively Overpowered, accessed on 2016-03-24
  9. 2017-02-03, Are Primal Ancients a Good Idea? Diablo 2 Lead Dev David Brevik Interview (Diablo 3 2.5). YouTube, accessed on 2017-04-08
  10. 2018-02-19, DIABLO CREATOR SHARES THOUGHTS ON DIABLO 3 — IGN UNFILTERED. IGN, accessed on 2018-02-20
  11. 2016-10-16, THE FUTURE OF DIABLO: WHAT'S NEXT?. Blizzpro, accessed on 2016-10-17
  12. 2016-10-17, Stars align for Diablo 4 reveal at BlizzCon. Eurogamer, accessed on 2016-10-18
  13. 2016-10-17, David Brevik confirms no involvement with Diablo franchise. Diablo.net, accessed on 2016-10-18
  14. 2016-10-18,David Brevik actually heading PoE?. Reddit, accessed on 2016-10-18
  15. 2012-08-18, Gazillion's David Brevik Gives His Thoughts on Path of Exile. YouTube, accessed on 2016-10-18
  16. 2016-11-07, Diablo III: Diablo 20th Anniversary Panel (BlizzCon 2016). YouTube, accessed on 2016-11-07
  17. 2017-02-17, DIABLO 4 Will Happen, According to Diablo 2 Lead Dev David Brevik (Interview). YouTube, accessed on 2017-04-08
  18. 2017-04-27, Diablo Podcast Special #220 - David Brevik Interview. YouTube, accessed on 2017-04-28
  19. 2018-01-31, Diablo creator David Brevik is back with a new game, It Lurks Below. Polygon, accessed on 2019-01-23
  20. 2018-04-25, Diablo co-creator’s It Lurks Below enters Steam Early Access. VentureBeat, accessed on 2019-01-23
  21. It Lurks Below, Steam.
  22. 2020-02-23, Rhykker Q&A with David Brevik, Max & Erich Schaefer at ExileCon. YouTube, accessed on 2020-09-21