Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 delayed as Blizzard meltdown continues

Another of Blizzard’s top execs has left the company, as its two biggest upcoming games are delayed until at least 2023.

Blizzard has announced that both Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 are now well over a year away, as co-leader Jen Oneal leaves the company.

It’s hardly surprising news given the turmoil created by multiple lawsuits, all alleging toxic workplace conditions, including rampant discrimination and sexual harassment.

Those issues are all still ongoing and while Jen Oneal was appointed as co-leader of Blizzard as recently as August, she’s now left to pursue a career promoting diversity in the video games industry.

‘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,’ she said in an email to staff.

‘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.’

That now leaves Mike Ybarra, who previously worked at Microsoft’s Xbox division for 20 years, as the sole leader at Blizzard, with a tough task ahead to restore confidence in the developer both inside and outside the company.

There are no details as to what exactly is going on with Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4, which may well have been delayed anyway because of the pandemic.

Overwatch 2 has had a particularly bumpy ride ever since it was first announced in late 2019, when it was initially implied that it would be released fairly soon.

Since then, the game has lost director Jeff Kaplan and executive producer Chacko Sonny, while Diablo 4 has seen the exit of game director Luis Barriga and lead designer Jesse McCree.

Activision Blizzard hasn’t been specific about the release dates, only saying that neither game will launch in 2022. The announcement was a financial one aimed at investors though, so they may clarify things a little more for fans over the next few days.

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