What Future Holds For Blizzard Under Microsoft’s Rule…?

With the Microsoft acquisition, Blizzard Entertainment may even have much more freedom than it did in the Activision era.



Mike Ybarra believes the team could return to its indie roots after Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard. During its long history, Blizzard has experienced several successful eras. Before World of Warcraft, the company was known for real-time strategy games like StarCraft and Warcraft 3. As well as Diablo 2, which created the modern hack-and-slash genre. WoW took the company to a whole new level, and nearly 20 years later, Blizzard’s flagship MMO is still going strong.

Activision Blizzard was founded in July 2008 due to the merger of Vivendi Games and Activision, and finally, in July 2013, it was separated from Vivendi by acquiring the majority of the shares.

Over the next few years, the company achieved financial growth. But Blizzard itself began to move away from titles like StarCraft 2. The poorly received Warlords of Draenor was released. They cancelled the second expansion for Diablo III in order to focus on making the Diablo sequel. Many fans felt that Blizzard was suffocating in the corporate hierarchy. Coupled with the lawsuits that erupted in 2021, faith in the company hit rock bottom.

“I think the way [Spencer] approaches building teams and focusing on culture and enabling creative freedom is going to give Blizzard a lot more of that sense of being an independent studio than ever before.”

After completing the acquisition, Mike Ybarra revealed in a BlizzCon interview with The Verge that he believes a more independent Blizzard will emerge in the coming years. Although Phil Spencer attended the BlizzCon 2023 opening, gamers can’t expect to see Blizzard games on Xbox Game Pass until 2024.

While it’s business as usual for the company, they’ve shown off what the near future has in store for fans. Diablo IV’s first expansion pack (Vessel of Hatred), three new heroes for Overwatch 2, and the start of the World of Warcraft Worldsoul Saga. It’s an ambitious story spanning three expansions. Starting with The War Within.

Blizzard has done a lot to regain the public’s trust, especially with the way the World of Warcraft team handled Dragonflight, but the road is still long and not without complications.

Controversy surrounded the company when they cut back on Overwatch 2’s story campaign. And Diablo IV ran into some post-launch trouble as it entered its first season. Ultimately, Mike Ybarra believes that Blizzard will have a much easier time in the coming years.

Source: The Verge

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