Exclusive look into how SteelSeries, in collaboration with Blizzard Entertainment, created the Diablo IV Limited Edition collection.
Peer past the curtains into the depths with SteelSeries. Critics and players alike around the world have been awed by our Limited Edition set, inspired by the face of Diablo IV, Lilith. Her demonic grace is visible in every element of our gaming gear.
Whether it’s demonic vertebrae of the Arctis Nova 7 Wireless, the hellish ridges of the Aerox 5 Wireless, the encompassing visage of the QcK Heavy XXL gaming mousepad, the stunning Artisan Keycap, or the KontrolFreek Thumbsticks and Collector’s Edition items, the entire collection exudes climactic and carefully considered design elements.
How did we achieve this? What inspires our designers?
“The developing process of Limited-Edition products is like writing a love letter to gamers,” said Lucy Lei, Product Manager, Spin Products at SteelSeries. “We always want to bring a physical immersive experience of the game through the product development.”
The primary draw for the collection was Blizzard’s clear vision of the game. Imbued with a dark, gothic vibe, Lilith was the primary inspiration for the Limited Edition items.
“We took a lot of inspiration from Lilith to incorporate into the details of the products, from the webbed headband pattern to the vertebrae motif on the scroll wheel and metal headband,” said Andy Gao, Industrial Designer at SteelSeries.
The intricate design of Lilith’s webbed wing membranes became integral to the Aerox 5 Wireless. That motif also carried across to the Arctis Nova 7 Wireless headset. The devil is in the details; the pattern on Lilith’s horns also landed on the scroll wheel of the mouse and the exterior of the metal headband of the headset.
Iterations of the Aerox 5 Wireless and the Arctis Nova 7 Wireless
“To further capture the essence of Diablo, we incorporated ornate gothic designs along the edges of the mouse buttons and the removable earplate on the headset,” said Gao. “All these intentional changes had a significant impact in seamlessly infusing the Diablo aesthetic into our products while maintaining a cohesive design language.”
Creation of this artistry begins with brainstorming. The team first considered which products would suit the collection best, landing on the Nova 7 and the Aerox 5. The parts on those made the most sense to customize and retool. Gao said he landed on the final design fairly quickly, starting with concept sketches.
“Picking up the right products for the right game, how we can have game elements on products which are a nice touch, those are all the things we considered during the process,” said Lei.
After some iteration with the concepts, the team 3D printed a few prototypes to asses the design before moving to the manufacturing process, meeting the engineering challenges.
“The most challenging part of the Limited Edition products was figuring out the metal headband,” Gao said. “It was hard to get the curves for the ribbed vertebrae pattern to show through the metal without cracking during the stamping process. It took a lot of back and forth tweaking the 3D to get it right.”
As evidenced, the SteelSeries hardware team more than met the challenge. Typically for most Limited Editions, it sold very quickly, as fans ravenously bought the items. If you stay tuned, however, there will be a restock soon.
“People aren’t just buying the hardware. They are buying the art,” said Lei.