Blizzard Douses Any Hope Of Diablo 4, Overwatch 2 In 2021

Blizzard Douses Any Hope Of Diablo 4, Overwatch 2 In 2021
Image: Blizzard

If you were hoping for Overwatch 2 or Diablo 4 to drop this year to scratch some long-lost itches that Blizzard historically filled, then you might want to put a pin in those hopes for a full year.

Activision-Blizzard held their quarterly earnings call Friday morning Australian time, which naturally precipitated an update on how Blizzard was doing. The company more broadly is going great, largely thanks to Call of Duty continuing to pop off.

“We had the best year in our 30-year history,” Bobby Kotick, Activision-Blizzard CEO, told Yahoo News. And it’s not hard to see why: Call of Duty active monthly users surpassed 128 million. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and ongoing Warzone updates saw in-game net bookings growing over 50 per cent year on year. Call of Duty Mobile launching in China is a huge feat for the studio too, and Activision-Blizzard expects its success in the West will translate over.

But on the Blizzard front, things are stagnating. After having 35 million monthly active users in the same quarter of 2018, Blizzard’s monthly active users dropped to 29 million. The Blizzard slide of the investor presentation was also missing some major franchises, which was an indicator of what to expect throughout the rest of the year:

activision blizzard
Image: Activision Investor Relations

“We are already seeing the impact of our growth initiatives for Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush, which we expect to again drive strong results in 2021,” Blizzard’s results said. “And at the same time, we are making significant progress against our development pipeline for other key intellectual properties, which we expect to fuel further growth in 2022 and beyond.”

No StarCraft, no Hearthstone, and Diablo Immortal instead of Diablo 4. And that’s no surprise, because the company went on to stress that Blizzard would have a substantial “2022”, strongly indicating that’s when Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 will drop.

“At Blizzard in particular, our teams are hard at work on Diablo 4, Overwatch 2 and multiple mobile titles,” investors were told. “We anticipate that 2022 will be a great year for Blizzard.”

The Activision-Blizzard executive did reveal that the Overwatch 2 team met a “major internal milestone” in December. It wasn’t specified what precisely that milestone was, but J. Allen Brack mentioned that “hundreds” of developers were involved in its internal testing.

Overwatch 2 is another great example, we’ve successfully passed an internal milestone in December, that involved testing many key features of the game with hundreds of developers across Blizzard,” Brack, president of Blizzard, said. “We’re happy with how that game’s progressing.”

More information about Overwatch 2, Diablo 4 and upcoming Diablo Immortal tests will be announced at BlizzConline, the virtual replacement for the annual Blizzcon festival that was canned due to COVID-19. That’ll take place across February 19 and February 20, but the show will be completely free throughout, unlike previous years.

Comments

  • Strangely I am okay with that, or maybe that is because I just bought Diablo for Switch and I suddenly understand there ARE deeper depths of gaming addiction that one can slip further into.

  • Given what they’re doing with ‘Blizzcon’ (ie another money farming gimick, fully digital/online account), and the unreliable servers/software build that WoW is, I would be very supprised if this year turns to a possitive for them with no new game release.

  • Couldn’t care less. Terrible company, supporting them is no better than lining the pockets of Tencent or EA. People love to conveniently forget the appalling business practices and predatory micro transactions.

  • Already worked this out about 2 months ago, my guess was Ow2 was going to be dec this year and D4 sometime next year, but this just confirms it for me.
    Already quit WoW (think im just outgrowing as its 3rd-4th time came back to the game) and Overwatch for me just isnt as fun as it usually is as well

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