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Blizzard > MicrosoftJan 25, 2024 11:30 am CT

When is Blizzard’s Untitled Survival Game releasing? Never, thanks to Microsoft and 1,900 layoffs.

Microsoft has shown us once again that the true Survival Game at the heart of corporate culture is literal as it lays off 1,900 people, employed mostly in their newly acquired Activision-Blizzard division, and in so doing also gave the axe to their Untitled Survival Game. Totally coincidentally, their next earnings call — the first since the merger, in which a single person was handed reportedly enough cash to pay all these employees’ salaries for years, was official — is set for January 30.

Among those laid off were President of Blizzard Entertainment Mike Ybarra who, despite being quoted as saying he’d have to be “dragged out” of Blizzard, penned a short sendoff on Twitter posted just after the memo went out. Chief Design Officer Allen Adham, one of the three people who co-founded Blizzard precursor Silicon and Synapse in 1991, was also let go as a part of these 1,900. So, that’s two down, and just 1,898 other peoples’ livelihoods which vanished overnight we have yet to hear from. According to reports, the employees themselves don’t really know yet, either.

This news comes just three days after Riot announced they were laying off 530 employees, as a part of restructuring their game Legends of Runeterra and moving toward shuttering Riot Forge. There have been roughly 4,000 people laid off across the industry in the month of January 2024, including 1,800 people at Unity and 500 more from Twitch. While it’s unclear what exactly this means for the gaming industry as a whole, it’s unlikely that it’s sunshine and rainbows. It certainly isn’t for the skilled, dedicated people behind those staggering numbers who now need to find new jobs alongside thousands of others.

With all that, it seems silly and tone deaf to focus on the cancellation of a singular game, no matter how excited we were to see Blizzard’s expansion of an overlooked genre. We sincerely hope for the best for everyone just trying to survive and live their lives in a different sort of dystopian hellscape.

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