More time needed for the games to reach their ‘full potential‘
During a Q3 2021 earnings report, Blizzard announced that Diablo IV and Overwatch 2 have been delayed — not that either of these big hopeful games felt close to begin with.
In a slide for investors (viewable on page six), Activision Blizzard shared an “update on our pipeline.” After what has been — and will continue to be — a very hectic year full of investigations, lawsuits, and high-profile staff departures, something had to give.
“As we have worked with new leadership in Blizzard and within the franchises themselves, particularly in certain key creative roles, it has become apparent that some of the Blizzard content planned for next year will benefit from more development time to reach its full potential,” Blizzard said on the earnings report slide. “While we are still planning to deliver a substantial amount of content from Blizzard next year, we are now planning for a later launch for Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV than originally envisaged.”
“These decisions will push out the financial uplift that we had expected to see next year,” noted Activision Blizzard. “But we are confident that this is the right course of action for our people, our players, and the long-term success of our franchises.”
In other words, Diablo IV and Overwatch 2 still feel out of reach — which is arguably a good thing depending on who you ask. After the delay, a 2023-or-later release seems likely. To be clear though, Blizzard has not announced a release window for either of them.
I’m not saying I’ll never be in the mood to play these games in two series I have fond memories of, but I don’t see that attitude changing easily or quickly. It’s not a sure thing. Of the two delays, Overwatch 2 probably stings the most. What a bumpy road it’s been for fans, even just in the context of the sequel itself and not the wider corporate culture.
On top of the delays, Blizzard announced that co-leader Jen Oneal is leaving the company this year, and the other co-leader, Mike Ybarra, is staying put for now. If those names don’t ring a bell, they stepped in after Blizzard president J. Allen Brack’s departure.