At a somewhat awkward time for Blizzard – amid California filing a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard (Blizzard’s parent company) on the grounds of ingrained sexual harassment – the company has decided to push for the acquisition of indie game developer, Proletariat.
Proletariat’s dev team is 100-strong and was responsible for Spellbreak, a spell-based free-to-play battle royale, which is set to shut its servers down in early 2023, as stated by Proletariat just a day prior. This comes as a bit of a shock to many, considering Spellbreak’s excellent reception by players and critics alike at launch. It should be considered, however, that players have been criticising Proletariat for the lack of attention provided to their beloved game: now feeling grossly betrayed since news of its shutdown was released.
Despite its unique and intriguing take on the heavily saturated battle royale genre, Spellbreak hadn’t ever exploded in popularity, as its competitor Apex Legends has.
So, what does Blizzard want with an indie dev team like Proletariat?
Despite these tumultuous times of being engulfed in Microsoft’s sphere of influence, progress waits for no one! Mike Ybarra, president of Blizzard Entertainment gave a statement to GamesBeat, outlining the reasoning for the acquisition. “A big part of caring for our teams is making sure we have the resources to produce experiences our communities will love while giving our teams space to explore even more creative opportunities within their projects.” This lines up with Blizzard’s intent of integrating Proletariat into its World of Warcraft dev team.
This comes just a couple of months after the announcement of WoW’s next ‘Dragonflight’ expansion, anticipated to release towards the end of this year.
Seth Sivak, CEO of Proletariat is anything but doubtful about this transfer:
“Being able to work for the World of Warcraft audiences is really awesome. And the level of ambition on where I think both teams want to take World of Warcraft is incredibly exciting for us.”
There are concerns from the community here too, with WoW players worried that a new influx of developers won’t improve the game. But with Blizzard’s internal issues and a recent search for an external development team to join their ranks, perhaps Proletariat can breathe the new life that Blizzard so desperately needs.