Between lawsuits, horrific allegations, firings, and resignations, it has been quite a year for Blizzard Entertainment. And that turbulence has caused the team to delay its two biggest upcoming titles: Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV.
Blizzard revealed this during an earnings call. In one of its slides, the company said that it was “apparent that some of the Blizzard content planned for the next year will benefit from more development time to reach [their] full potential.” The next point then specifically details Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV, saying that will launch later than originally planned.
That “originally planned” date has never been set in stone as neither title had much of an established release window. A prior earnings call from February 2021 said that Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV wouldn’t come out until at least 2022, but that’s about as specific as Blizzard got. Diablo IV Game Director Luis Barriga even said during the game’s reveal at BlizzCon 2019 that the RPG was “not coming out soon – not even Blizzard soon.”
While Blizzard doesn’t outright say the year, it appears as though both games aren’t coming out until at least 2023. But it seems as though Blizzard is thinking about the games’ health after they launch, too, as the slide clearly stated it is using resources to “ensure that these releases delight and engage their communities for many years into the future.”
This news came coupled with the announcement that Jen Oneal, co-leader at Blizzard, is exiting the company to “to dive deeper into the admirable causes” of Women in Games International, which Activision is giving a $1 million grant to. She had only had the job for three months after J. Allen Brack stepped down, but is one of the many big figures (like former Game Director Jeff Kaplan, Executive Producer Chacko Sonny, and Lead Writer Michael Chu, just to name a few) within the developer to leave. Mike Ybarra, current co-leader at Blizzard, stated that all these shake ups mostly led to the delays.