Activision Blizzard revealed during its Q3 2021 earnings report that it’s delaying the launch of Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 to a later date.
“As we have worked with new leadership in Blizzard and within the franchises themselves, particularly in certain key creative roles, it has become apparent that some of the Blizzard content planned for next year will benefit from more development time to reach its full potential,” Activision Blizzard said.
“While we are still planning to deliver a substantial amount of content from Blizzard next year, we are now planning for a later launch for Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 than originally envisaged,” the company said.
Earlier this year, the publisher indicated that both games weren’t going to launch this year. A 2022 release window was assumed but It’s possible Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 might not be released until 2023. Activision Blizzard blames the delays on changes in developer leadership at the company.
“It has become apparent that some of the Blizzard content planned for next year will benefit from more development time to reach its full potential,” Activision Blizzard said.
“These decisions will push out the financial uplift that we had expected to see next year… but we are confident that this is the right course of action for our people, our players, and the long-term success of our franchises.”
Diablo 4 lost its director and lead designer earlier this year while Overwatch 2‘s executive producer left the company back in September. A lot of key figures at the company have been jumping ship as of late since sexual harassment and rape allegations against the company were revealed back in July. After former Blizzard president, J. Allen Brack left the publisher back in August, Mike Ybarra and Jen Oneal filled his spot as co-heads at the studio. Three months later, Oneal, Blizzard’s first female studio head is leaving the company at the end of the year leaving Ybarra as the sole head of Blizzard. Until her departure, Oneal will be working in an unspecified role at Activision.
“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,” Oneal said in a statement.
“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.”