Blizzard Entertainment has acquired its first new studio in more than 15 years. In a report from VentureBeat, the company said it intends to acquire the Boston-based studio Proletariat. (Blizzard announced Friday that the deal is now closed.) As a result, Proletariat’s Spellbreak, a battle royale in which you fling spells at your enemies instead of bullets, will shut down.
“After more than four years of elemental magic and spell combinations, we’ve made the decision to end development of Spellbreak,” the company wrote on its website. “The servers will be shut down as of early 2023.”
Proletariat was founded in 2012 and launched its first game, World Zombination, on mobile in 2015. In addition to developing traditional games, Proletariat also worked on creating Twitch-integrated games that allowed viewers to interact and play with their favorite streamers. Spellbreak, launched in 2020, was Proletariat’s attempt to break into the already crowded arena of “what if Fortnite, but —.” Though the game presented an interesting spin on the battle royale model, Seth Sivak, CEO of Proletariat, revealed in a Reddit post accompanying the announcement of the game’s pending shutdown that Spellbreak’s novelty did not translate to financial success.
“Spellbreak was not able to break through and reach a sustainable place where we could continue to invest in it in the way we had dreamed of,” Sivak wrote.
Proletariat is set to enter the Blizzard family as the company itself is in the middle of a pending acquisition by Microsoft, expected to conclude sometime next year. According to VentureBeat, Proletariat’s staff will transition to the World of Warcraft team as Blizzard ramps up production on the Dragonflight expansion, and the two studios have been working together since May.
“We are putting players at the forefront of everything we do, and we are working hard to both meet and exceed their expectations,” Blizzard president Mike Ybarra said in a statement. “A critical part of taking care of players is taking care of our teams — making sure we have the resources to produce experiences our communities will love while giving our teams space to explore even more creative opportunities within their projects. Proletariat will be a perfect fit for supporting Blizzard’s mission in bringing high-quality content to our players more often.”
Correction June 29th, 6:36PM ET: Blizzard tells The Verge that it intends to acquire Proletariat, but has not done so yet. We’ve also added a statement from Blizzard president Mike Ybarra.
Update July 1st, 10:40AM ET: Blizzard has confirmed that the deal to acquire Proletariat is now closed.