In the year 1996 in the May issue of PC Gamer magazine a short contest has been annouced about a new and sill in development game Diablo. The game was to simply send your name and surname and the prize was to put the name in the game.
A few years later on 19th of December 2011 on reddit.com a user nicknamed blooberrys posted that his name is Deckard Cain Elder and the character in the game has been named after him. He also posted the story about how his name and surname made it to the contest.
This information was also confirmed by the then-community-manager from Blizzard - Bashiok. Additionally David Brevik at GDC 2016 conference said the name of Decard Cain the Elder has been chosen in a contest that was taking place in a video game magazine. Below are the reddit post and inforamtion about the contest from year 1996.
My name is Deckard Cain Elder, and I am 16 years old. When I was just a baby, Blizzard had a surprise drawing for Diablo with very vague details. All anyone knew was that if they wanted to be a part of the drawing, they had to send a postcard to Blizzard with your name on it, and after a said date, they would pick a card at random to win the prize. Being a very big Blizzard fan, my father decided to take part in this. He thought about it for a while, and decided that since my name is so unique, he would send the postcard in with my name on it instead of his. My first name comes from the Harrison Ford's character in the movie Blade Runner, my middle name is my mother's maiden name, and my last name is my fathers family name.
It had been about 4 or 5 months after my father had sent in this postcard with my name on it to Blizzard, and he had begun to forget about it, and accepted that, because of the period of time sense he had sent the card in, we hadn't won this unknown prize. About 6 months after the drawing, a box arrived at my parents apartment in South Dakota. Not having ordered anything, they were curious as to why it had shown up. When they opened the box there were five things inside. A long yellow envelope, a copy of Diablo, a black hat with Blizzard in blue printed on the front, a very large Diablo T-shirt, and a blue statue of Diablo that stand a little over a foot tall. Inside the envelope was a letter from Bill Roper, the producer of Diablo, that explained that I had been chosen for the drawing prize. (...) The letter basically explained that the prize for being chosen in this drawing, was to have your name in the game. I honestly feel that, because of my unique name, Blizzard saw my name on the postcard and thought it suited the character they were looking to name. But either way, it's seriously cool. So if you ever wondered how Blizzard named Deckard Cain, you now know.
Congratulations! Your postcard was chosen as the winner in PC Gamer’s Name in the Game contest for Diablo by Blizzard Entertainment. As you will notice, the town elder near the fountain located in the center of Tristram is your namesake.
Please find enclosed your free copy of Diablo, some great Blizzard gear and your specially commissioned Diablo statue. This statue was created especially for this contest and is identical to the one sitting at our offices here at Blizzard.
Producer of Diablo
The Diablo Contest
Find Yourself in One Hell of a Game!
PC game companies are always promising to put you "in the game," but how many really come through with the goods? The folks at Blizzard, creators of the incredible Warcraft II, are ready to deliver. Their latest game, Diablo, promises to be a multi-player roleplaying spectacular worthy of the Blizzard name - just imagine how proud your mother will be when your name appears right there on the screen! Win the contest, and Blizzard will put your name in the game - as a monster, a weapon, or a magical item. You'll also get an original, honest-to-goodness, one-of-a-kind Diablo sculpture to add a touch of class to your own dungeon or den, an autographed copy of the game, and some painfully cool Blizzard stuff - like t-shirts, baseball caps, and Blizzard's legendary giant mouse pad (a favorite in the PCG offices). Ten runners-up will get Blizzard stuff, too.
To enter, just write your name and address on a postcard and shoot it out to:
The Diablo Contest
P.O Box 18077
Irvine, CA 92713
The big drawing will be held at the 1996 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles the weekend of May 16, so be sure to mail your entry right away (just one entry per person, please)!
* No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. One entry per person. For a complete set of rules, write your name, address, age, and telephone number on 2” x5” card and mail it to: PC Gamer Diablo Contest. P.O Box 17077.
Irvine, CA 92713. All entries must be received by May 9, 1996. The first randomly selected entry will win the grand prize: the next ten will be runners-up. The editors’ decision are final. *