Revealed during a the latest Activision Blizzard investor call, representatives announced that both
2 and Diablo IV are delayed following recent challenges and more company leadership changes. With some expectations of eventually releasing the
sometime in 2022, representatives on the quarterly earnings call stated the two games will now release "later than originally envisaged."
Blizzard Entertainment has seen a significant shift in leadership and company culture after revelations that executives and senior members fostered a toxic and hostile work environment in recent months. Following news stories and social media posts from employees detailing what it was like working at Blizzard, the game developer and publisher saw numerous employees depart the company.
Along with the announcement that Diablo IV and Overwatch 2 would be delayed, the co-head of Blizzard Entertainment, Jen Oneal, who had just taken on the role in recent months, has announced her departure from the company as well.
"I want you to hear from me personally that I have made the decision to step away from co-leading Blizzard Entertainment and will transition to a new position before departing ABK at the end of the year,"said Oneal in a statement on the Blizzard blog. "Effective immediately, Mike Ybarra will lead Blizzard. I am doing this not because I am without hope for Blizzard, quite the opposite--I'm inspired by the passion of everyone here, working towards meaningful, lasting change with their whole hearts. This energy has inspired me to step out and explore how I can do more to have games and diversity intersect, and hopefully make a broader industry impact that will benefit Blizzard (and other studios) as well. While I am not totally sure what form that will take, I am excited to embark on a new journey to find out."
Diablo IV and Overwatch 2 are the next entries in two of Blizzard's most popular franchises. However, with recent shifts to improve company culture and fill vacant roles, it's unclear when we'll see more of these games in the future, let alone their release date. Despite the delay for Overwatch 2, however, Blizzard stated that the game will still be present in the upcoming Overwatch League season in the Spring.
Recently, Blizzard announced that Blizzcon, the company's long-running fan expo and online event, has been delayed indefinitely to "reimagine" the event. This event served as a major milestone to show off new products, but the company affirmed to fans that more details about upcoming games would be revealed elsewhere.
Along with this, one of Overwatch's most iconic characters -- McCree -- was renamed to Cole Cassidy. This change was to distance the character away from a developer, who the character was named after, who was terminated from the company following accusations of toxic behavior.