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Blizzard Entertainment Cancels Major Project Amidst Microsoft Reorganization

Blizzard Entertainment Cancels Major Project Amidst Microsoft Reorganization

by Aiman MaulanaJanuary 30, 2024
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Blizzard Entertainment has announced the cancellation of one of its major projects, codenamed Odyssey, as part of a strategic reorganization under its new owner, Microsoft Corp. The move has resulted in a substantial workforce reduction, with 1,900 employees, constituting 8% of the gaming division’s total staff, facing mass layoffs.

Blizzard Cancels Odyssey

Microsoft Acquiring Activision Blizzard for USD $68.7 billion

This decision comes three months after Microsoft’s historic $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, marking the largest video game deal in history. The canceled game, Odyssey, was a significant investment for Blizzard, with a development team of over 100 people working on it for more than six years. The project aimed to create a survival game set in a new universe, diverging from Blizzard’s traditional focus on existing franchises like World of Warcraft and Diablo IV.

The reorganization also saw the departure of President Mike Ybarra and Chief Design Officer Allen Adham, one of Blizzard’s co-founders. The company plans to announce its new president next week. Blizzard spokesperson Andrew Reynolds stated that the decision to end Odyssey’s development was part of a broader focus on projects with the most promising potential for future growth. He added that some team members would be redirected to other exciting projects in the early stages of development within the company.

Blizzard Entertainment Cancels Major Project Amidst Microsoft Reorganization 24

Odyssey initially started as a pitch in 2017, evolving into a survival game concept with high polish and fewer bugs than competitors like Minecraft and Rust. Despite public announcements in 2022 and additional resources allocated, technical challenges surrounding the game engine led to internal struggles. The project switched from the Unreal Engine to the studio’s internal engine, Synapse, which proved problematic and contributed to the project’s ultimate cancellation.


Pokdepinion: Blizzard’s decision to cancel Odyssey highlights the difficulties of starting something entirely new in the gaming industry and the challenges associated with experimentation and risk-taking. While this cancellation is a setback, the company expressed gratitude to the talented individuals involved in the project, emphasizing that new ideas may find their way into other games or become standalone projects.

About The Author
Aiman Maulana
Jack of all trades, master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one. YouTuber, video editor, tech head, and a wizard of gaming. What's up? :)