Blizzard President Mike Ybarra has revealed his end-of-year update, summarising all the foremost developments on the firm within the final yr. Citing 2022 as a “nice yr” for Blizzard, the weblog features a rundown of the corporate’s latest achievements, a number of mind-boggling stats like “12 billion hours of Blizzard video games have been performed final yr”, and a good quantity of dialogue relating to Blizzard’s makes an attempt to enhance its work tradition.
Earlier than that although, there are a few extra particular factors value drilling into. First, whereas masking positional adjustments to Blizzard’s varied inner groups, Ybarra notes that the crew for its untitled survival game has “doubled in dimension”. The venture, which Ybarra emphasises is Blizzard’s “first new IP since Overwatch”, is led by Dan Hay, who was beforehand govt producer on Ubisoft’s Far Cry sequence. Little else is thought in regards to the survival game, however it’s coming to PC, and in keeping with a job posting from earlier this yr, is “A spot stuffed with heroes now we have but to fulfill, tales but to be advised, and adventures but to be lived.”
Second, Ybarra notes that “we’re bringing BlizzCon again”. Blizzard’s annual gaming conference has had a rougher time than most in-person occasions during the last couple of years. Like many others, it was cancelled in 2020 because of the Pandemic, A alternative digital occasion named BlizzConline was presupposed to be held in 2021, however Blizzard put these plans on “pause”, because of the allegations of endemic discrimination and sexual harassment on the firm. Ybarra does not present specifics about Blizzcon’s return, merely stating “extra on that early subsequent yr!” However he does point out that BlizzCon has a brand new govt producer, April McKee.
With regards to Blizzard’s work tradition, Ybarra reiterates Blizzard’s quite a few new hires on this space, corresponding to Jessica Martinez within the “brand-new function” of VP at Tradition, and Makaiya Brown as Variety, Fairness and Inclusion (DE&I) lead. Ybarra then emphasises that “tradition is not the work of 1 individual” and states that the corporate has “convened a tradition crew consisting of a wide selection of capabilities throughout Blizzard who’re serving to us enhance how we work”.
Extra broadly, he states that Blizzard has been “taking a deep have a look at the mission, imaginative and prescient and values upon which Blizzard was constructed” and that “it is a venture that our staff, in addition to gamers will see the outcomes of within the new yr.” All of which is properly and good in concept, however the actuality is Blizzard remains to be very a lot coping with the fallout of the allegations towards the corporate. In October, Blizzard discovered itself dealing with one more sexual harassment lawsuit for “sexist and harassing conduct” by a former supervisor which went on for years earlier than he was fired. It might even be remiss to disregard the influence of Blizzard employees’ unionising efforts, which has resulted within the creation of two new employees’ unions inside the firm.