Overwatch 2, Diablo IV postponed indefinitely

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(Photo: Activision Blizzard)
Activision Blizzard is pushing out of production on Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV to give its creative teams more time to develop both games.

In what looks like a presentation slide shared to Axios reporter Stephen Totilo on Twitter, Blizzard says it “is now planning a later launch for Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV than originally planned.” While the company has reportedly made great strides in wrapping the games, the extra time will allow its teams to “continue growing their creative resources to support the titles after launch.” Blizzard admits that this will impact the financial push it expected to see in 2022.

Unfortunately for fans, this isn’t the first time Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV have experienced delays. Both games were originally slated to release this year, though Blizzard shared during its Q4 2020 earnings call that it would no longer be the case. Neither title was given a new release date at that point, meaning those waiting to play Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV have been afloat in video game purgatory for a while.

Although Blizzard claims its delay is for the improvement of the games themselves, an internal shuffle is likely to force the company to slow down operations. Blizzard was at the center of sexual harassment it causes filed by the State of California in July, in which it was revealed that female employees had been subjected to discrimination, verbal abuse, and physical assault from colleagues and executives for a number of years. Since the company’s toxic internal workings were made public, several members of the leadership have resigned, including President J. Allen Brack in August, and his replacement, co-director Jen Oneal, who announced this week that goes away after only three months of work. Two creative leads assigned to Diablo IV have also been assigned REMOVED by Blizzard shortly after the lawsuit made headlines. One can only imagine that with such high-level abandonment (and hopefully various efforts to make Blizzard a healthier and safer workplace), it’s hard for teams in the trenches to do much.

However, this is not the end of Blizzard’s negative PR. The earnings call in which the company first announced its recent delays also mentioned that its cross-functional user base has precipitate 13% (something the lack of major releases won’t exactly help). While Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV’s original harassment lawsuit and delays certainly contributed to this decline, some suspect that the release of New World by Amazon, a World of Warcraft competitor, may also be partly responsible.

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