Blizzard Entertainment is known to be one of the most successful developers in the history of gaming. That’s why it was all the more impactful when parent company Activision Blizzard decided to cut 209 jobs specifically among Blizzard teams.
However, those layoffs didn’t impact the number of actual developers. In fact, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack confirmed during yesterday’s Activision Blizzard Q1 2019 earnings call that developer headcount ‘significantly increased’ since the last quarter.
Brack also said the development teams are highly motivated and they feel like they have a lot to prove to both themselves and Blizzard fans.
This is an important topic for everyone and it’s super important to me personally. I said consistently that the Blizzard pipeline is larger and richer than ever before. It includes PC and console releases.
It includes ongoing content for World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Hearthstone and a couple of mobile initiatives. It’s critical that all of these products meet the Blizzard quality that we’re known for. We want to give the teams the space to really create excellence and release games at a better and more consistent kids.
We’re pretty impatient to get all those content in front of the community and it’s a reason that we have significantly increased our developer headcount as we talked about last quarter. The teams are highly motivated. We feel we’ve got a lot to prove, both to our players and to ourselves. And lastly, earlier Coddy [Collister Johnson – President and Chief Operating Officer of Activision Blizzard] talked about announcing BlizzCon and the show is returning November 1st and 2nd to the Anaheim convention center and working really hard to make it a great event.
Blizzard has recently confirmed they won’t be attending Gamescom 2019 to focus on ‘renewed game development efforts’. We already speculated they would delay any new content or game reveal so that they could be reserved for BlizzCon 2019 and Brack’s final comment pretty much seals the expectation.
We don’t know, however, whether there will be any Blizzard announcements at the Electronic Entertainment Expo next month, though it seems safe to assume that the much anticipated Diablo 4 announcement would be the star of BlizzCon instead.