Blizzard has been in a peculiar spot lately, as a pile of controversies over the ongoing State of California lawsuit and disgruntled World of Warcraft fans has soured public perception of the company. The saving grace for Blizzard may well have been its next two big games, Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2. However, Blizzard has announced that both games are being delayed, with no new release windows provided.
Announced in a slide during an investor presentation, Activision Blizzard confirmed that both Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 will be pushed beyond next year to create more polished, engaging products. Activision Blizzard's statement specifically cited input from Blizzard's new leadership as part of the reason for the delays, stating that it became apparent that both of the projects would benefit from more development time. However, the statement didn't cite specific elements currently holding the games back.
Most importantly, no new window was provided for Diablo 4's or Overwatch 2's potential release date, nor was a general window given. All that's really able to be garnered from the announcement is that neither game will be releasing in 2022, so fans should expect them in 2023 at the earliest. That puts things in an interesting spot, as neither franchise has seen a new entry in years, with Diablo 3 releasing all the way back in 2012 and Overwatch releasing in 2016.
The delays will likely become a topic of debate among fans. On one hand, more development is always a good thing, giving developers more time to polish a project before releasing it into the wild. However, the community's trust in Blizzard's new leadership, which was appointed by Activision, is at something of an all-time low. Accusations of putting profit before good design have been levied at the developer for years now, and Activision is seen by many fans as a villain. The accusations of sexual harassment and generally toxic workplaces have done nothing to assuage those concerns.
In addition to these delays, Blizzconline has been canceled, with no new physical planned in the near future. It effectively seems that Blizzard will be going radio silent for the foreseeable future, either to escape the current negative PR storm Activision is facing as a whole, genuinely go back to the drawing board for some of its bigger franchises, or perhaps emerge as something entirely different. In the meantime, fans are going to have to play the waiting game.
Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 are currently in development.
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