To most long-time RPG fans, this news will fall under the "well, duh " category.
In speaking to AtomicGamer , Blizzard's Kevin Martens said "the action and RPG genres are bleeding together a lot more than they used to," which has often left fans of "purer" role-playing experiences bitter and unhappy. Martens adds that a lot of action games are featuring RPG elements, which is another new advent in gaming, but one that typically doesn't cause die-hard action fans to freak out. Said Martens, who is currently working on Diablo III :
"The two genres are sharing a lot more things together. RPGs are inherently compelling in their level-up systems and character customization ability, etc., so that stuff is coming into action play.
If we’re going to talk specifically about action-RPG, the genre mold of Diablo, I think it’s really a game that’s randomized like that, it has a bunch of different classes. Those games are just really hard to make. Diablo II was a king of that genre, and it’s still for sale everywhere over 10 years later."
There's no knowing if Diablo III will show up on consoles, but the point here is the facts…which few will contest. The question is, while the RPG followers find this an abomination in some ways, nobody seems to be complaining that Bioshock and other action-oriented titles have adopted role-playing elements. Odd, isn't it?