In 2022, Blizzard announced that it was making a survival game, which would’ve marked its first new property since Overwatch debuted in 2016. Now, as part of a recent round of layoffs at Microsoft, the game has been canceled.
This morning, Microsoft laid off 1,900 employees in its gaming divisions. The cuts primarily hit staff at Activision Blizzard — which Microsoft acquired in October for $68.7 billion — though some workers at its ZeniMax and Xbox divisions were impacted as well. (The announcement followed similar cuts at League of Legends developer Riot Games, which cut more than 500 jobs earlier this week, part of an ongoing trend of layoffs in the gaming industry.)
“Today’s actions affect multiple teams within Blizzard, including development teams, shared service organizations and corporate functions,” Matt Booty, head of Xbox Studios, said in a note to staff. “As part of this focus, Blizzard is ending development on its survival game project and will be shifting some of the people working on it to one of several promising new projects Blizzard has in the early stages of development.”
As part of the announcement, Booty also confirmed that Blizzard president Mike Ybarra will be leaving the company, as is chief design officer Allen Adham.
While few details, including a name, were revealed for the survival game, it was notable as a rare new franchise from Blizzard, which primarily focuses on its core brands of Diablo, Warcraft, Overwatch, and StarCraft.