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"Diablo was exactly the game I wanted to play. When I was younger, and the Dungeon Master in games of D&D, the sorts of campaigns I ran were short, brutal, and loot heavy. No real story to speak of, but just hinting at interesting lore. For Diablo, the important thing at the time was a casual, play-with-one-hand, self-paced, loot-filled RPG."

- Erich Shaefer(src)

Erich Schaefer

Erich Schaefer

Erich Schaefer is a former member of Blizzard North, and brother of Max Schaefer.



Schaefer played Dungeons and Dragons in his youth. As a dungeon master, his campaigns focused on short, loot-based sessions, with little focus on story. He visited numerous castles, catacombs, and churches, and developed a love of Italian zombie movies.[1]

Blizzard North[]

Alongside his brother and David Brevik, Schaefer was one of the founders of Condor, later known as Blizzard North.[2] The three of them had previously worked at FM Waves, where they worked on Gordo 106.[3]

Schaefer held the position of senior designer, art director, and story writer for Diablo.[4] As the art director, he based the game's style on his love of Italian zombie movies, and visits he'd made to churches, castles, and catacombs.[1] For Diablo: Hellfire, Schaefer was more enthusiastic about the project than many other Blizzard North members. He was less concerned about the quality level, just enthused that people were making more content for the game.[5]

In Diablo II, he was the project/design lead,[4] which included work on the game's programming. Schaefer has reflected that he had always favored the idea of a sequel to the original game.[2] He also oversaw the character artists, utilizing a hands-off style of work supervision.[6]

Schaefer had some incidental involvement with Blizzard North's version of Diablo III before leaving the company.[7]


In 2003, Schaefer founded Flagship Studios. After the collapse of the company, he helped start Runic Games with his brother and Travis Baldree. He worked on Rebel Galaxy, under development of Double Damage Games (once again founded by him).[2]


This section contains facts and trivia relevant to this article.
  • Schaefer is irreligious.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 2017-07-30, 20 YEARS OF DIABLO: AN IGN RETROSPECTIVE. IGN, accessed on 2017-07-31
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 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 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Oral" defined multiple times with different content
  3. 2024-06-07, The Making of Diablo - David Brevik Interview. YouTube, accessed on 2024-06-10
  4. 4.0 4.1 Erich Schaefer, Moby Games. Accessed on 2015-07-04
  5. 2018-06-29, How a Diablo expansion led to behind the scenes trouble. Polygon, accessed on 2018-06-30
  6. 2018-08-07, How Diablo 2 Evolved from Gothic Horror to Epic Fantasy. Shack News. Accessed on 2018-07-08
  7. 2017-07-30, 20 YEARS OF DIABLO: AN IGN RETROSPECTIVE. IGN, accessed on 2017-08-04