Activision Blizzard lawsuit
Publisher Activision Blizzard, responsible for the game this article refers to, is currently embroiled in ongoing litigation in regards to claims reporting a workplace culture that allegedly enabled acts of sexual harassment, abuse and discrimination. Read our Activision Blizzard lawsuit timeline of events for ongoing coverage.
The controversy surrounding Activision Blizzard continues to take its toll on the publisher’s output, with the most recent announcement revealing delays for two of its major gaming titles – Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4.
During Activision Blizzard’s Q3 earnings call, it made the following statement: “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”.
This obviously indicates that both games have been delayed further to whatever their internal roadmap initially plotted, but the language used in the first half of the statement is worth paying attention to.
It implies that, although there is a ‘substantial amount of content’ expected for next year (2022), these two major titles aren’t included in this. So, while not explicitly stated, we may be looking at 2023 or later launch windows for both Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4.
This is further reenforced in other statements from the earnings call that were adjacent to the above: “some of the Blizzard content planned for next year will benefit from more development time to reach its full potential” and “these decisions will push out the financial uplift that we had expected to see next year”.
Delays and departures
For Diablo 4, the delay is likely due in part to the game’s director and lead designer leaving the company in August, and a similar story is true of Overwatch 2, with its game director Jeff Kaplan leaving in April.
While the publisher is obviously keen to spin the release delays as opportunities for the development teams to further polish the titles, there’s no doubt that the sexual harassment and discrimination accusations have left the teams short-staffed or with entirely new members.
The company also announced today that its co-leader Jen Oneal will be stepping down after having worked in the role for just three months. She has negotiated a $1 million grant for Women in Games – a non-profit organization of which she is a board member.