It might still make daily headlines for organizational chaos, union busting, and being part of the biggest gaming acquisition of all time, but Blizzard is apparently hard at work on its next original gaming world.
While offering few details, the company this week teased an “all-new universe survival game,” known for now only as an “unannounced survival game.” The company linked to a jobs page with the announcement, which also featured some previews of upcoming game art.
In the art, a hunter dressed in furs and some sort of skull helmet situation crouches with an axe, appearing to follow something near a fairy tale portal. Another piece of concept art shows a modern scene with two people looking through another portal to a magical land.
The art doesn’t give much away, but the concept seems compelling, especially for a company so good at creating creative and fluid multiplayer worlds. And the survival game concept would be a fresh and probably very polished entry into a genre popularized on Twitch by games like Fortnite and Rust. Blizzard’s last major new IP was esports mega-hit Overwatch, which has a now-delayed sequel on the way to some point, possibly 2023.
It’s a tumultuous time for one of the biggest game studios in the world. Activision Blizzard, which publishes hit games like the Call of Duty franchise, Overwatch and World of Warcraft, remains embroiled in a scandal that erupted with the announcement of a California state lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and discrimination in within the company last year.
The company is also under investigation by the SEC, which began issuing subpoenas to employees late last year. Meanwhile, for now, the wider business is still led by Bobby Kotick, its managing director who was aware of the serious allegations of workplace misconduct within his company and did nothing about them. topic. Bloomberg reports that Kotick is expected to leave once the deal closes, with longtime Xbox chief Phil Spencer taking on the role of CEO of Microsoft Gaming to help run the company.
In the middle of it all – or rather because all of it — Microsoft announced plans to acquire the company for $68.7 billion earlier this month. The massive deal would set records, consolidate a number of the biggest games under one of the biggest console makers, and tempt fate at a time when federal and state regulators are more wary than ever of tech companies creating games. unstoppable monopolies.
It didn’t need another reason to make headlines, but Activision Blizzard also refused to voluntarily recognize a union created by a group of QA testers at Raven Software, a division of the company, this week. Raven’s group had previously been on strike for more than a month to protest the firing of 12 contract workers.
On Twitter, a number of Blizzard employees expressed optimism that the new ownership could help stabilize the company while putting it on a better path, leaving its history of toxic work culture behind. Assuming the deal with Microsoft comes to fruition, the gaming giant will have one of the most established tech companies in the world taking the lead, and that kind of maturity and stability surely won’t hurt as it looking to hire for his next major IP. .