There's a lot going on at Blizzard: a new report has unveiled that the company is not only working on Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2, but that the developer has also felt the need to cancel a previously-unannounced StarCraft FPS title in order to ramp up focus on the former two games. Blizzard has recently been struggling with public perception, as the once mighty studio received a great deal of backlash over the way it laid off hundreds of employees despite record earnings.
That, coupled with the way the developer pulled back the curtain on Diablo Immortal, has made some critics wonder if the studio has lost touch with what its fans want. That certainly seemed to be the case with the mobile Diablo, although backlash from that announcement is likely what ramped up development on Diablo 4 proper. After a number of high-profile employees began departing Blizzard citing morale issues, it appears as though drastic changes need to be made to the developer soon.
A new report from Kotaku speculates that those changes are being made, just internally and outside of public discussion until now. According to the report, Blizzard is working on both Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2, but the development of those games has come at a heavy price for Terran, Protoss, and Zerg fans: an unannounced StarCraft FPS, code-named Ares, has been scrapped in favor of ratcheting up work on the former two projects. According to those close to the titles, the cancelation of the StarCraft game came as a major shock, with many sources believing that it looked "quite good." Blizzard's full statement in response to the report is at the bottom of this article, but here's a particularly relevant quote:
"We always make decisions about these things, regardless of the ultimate outcome or how things are interpreted, based on our values, what we believe makes sense for Blizzard, and what we hope our players will enjoy the most."
Blizzard does have a reputation for canceling a lot of projects—one quote famously stated that for every game made by the developer, five are canceled—and apparently, team members from Ares will be moving over to Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2, the two games expected to be the focal points of this year's BlizzCon. Diablo 4 was previously unearthed in a report late last year, but Overwatch 2 is a surprise. According to the report, the sequel to Blizzard's popular esports title will have a larger focus on PVE, with some internally comparing it to Left 4 Dead.
These are three major bombshells all in one report, but ultimately things sound better for Blizzard than they did previously. Game cancelations—especially those regarding unannounced titles—happen all the time, and Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 are sequels to two of the developers most successful IPs. With the disappointment of Diablo Immortal still fresh on many people's minds, having a strong BlizzCon this year is a step in the right direction for Blizzard, a studio that has, historically, struggled to do anything but.