Overwatch developer Blizzard was working on a new survival game, but the title has been canned following massive Xbox layoffs.
Following its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Xbox has laid off 1,900 workers across all studios. This move has resulted in the departure of Blizzard President Mike Ybarra as well as the cancellation of the studio’s secretive survival game.
“Today’s actions affect multiple teams within Blizzard, including development teams, shared service organizations and corporate functions,” said head of Xbox Studios, Matt Booty. “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.”
Over the last few decades, Blizzard has been known for primarily working on the same properties: Warcraft and Diablo. However, the studio received record sales and appeal for its last original IP: Overwatch.
Blizzard’s secretive survival game was expected to be yet another major hit for the studio. Following the massive success of Diablo 4, the studio’s new IP was hotly anticipated by fans of the studio.
Alongside the departure of Blizzard President Mike Ybarra, the studio will also be losing Chief Design Officer Allen Adham. The developer will also be letting go of an unannounced number of workers, many of whom worked on the title.
Xbox’s mass layoffs come amid a huge restructuring of the entire games industry. While Xbox’s is more egregious — especially after years of spending billions on games studios — it is sadly entirely unsurprising.
Of course, Blizzard is still working on new games for PC and Xbox. Alongside massive updates for World of Warcraft, Diablo 4 and support for Overwatch 2, there are likely other original games or sequels being worked on at the company.
For now, it’s not clear what Xbox’s plans are for Blizzard exactly. We just know they don’t involve a survival game.