A week after the news Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard, and amidst news of alleged union-busting, labor strikes, unionization and the continuing investigation of allegations of discrimination and abuse, Blizzard has announced it’s working on a new IP.
The new game is the first new universe from Blizzard since Overwatch in 2016; it’s also the studio’s first survival game. While it’s fairly common to announce games early to recruit new talent — Respawn Entertainment’s announcement of its new Star Wars game contained job listings — Blizzard is facing a particularly challenging time when it comes to hiring. Talent acquisition and retention have been difficult for the developer causing game delays as employees leave the developer at the heart of Activision Blizzard’s legal troubles for more competitive jobs elsewhere.
While announcements like these are scheduled and made in advance, and there’s no real way to discern if the timing is deliberate or coincidental, the announcement of this new IP does resemble the decision to announce Overwatch 2 shortly after Blizzard drew sharp criticisms for banning and then unbanning a player who publicly supported Hong Kong during a Hearthstone event.
In the game announcement on Blizzard’s website, the studio says this new IP will be for PC and console. With Activision Blizzard’s sale to Microsoft pending, no word yet on if “console” includes PlayStation or is Xbox-only.