New Blizzard survival game canceled, Mike Ybarra leaving company

The new Blizzard survival game is canceled and long-serving president Mike Ybarra is leaving the Diablo 4 and World of Warcraft maker.

Blizzard survival game canceled: Lilith from Blizzard RPG Diablo 4

The upcoming Blizzard survival game is officially canceled as Mike Ybarra also announces that he is leaving the Diablo 4, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch 2 developer with immediate effect. Microsoft, which completed its acquisition of Activision Blizzard in 2023, has laid off 1,900 employees across both the Xbox and Activision Blizzard teams. Blizzard’s chief design officer Allen Adham, whose credits include Diablo, Warcraft, and StarCraft, is also leaving the company.

Mike Ybarra served as Blizzard president throughout development of both Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2. He leaves the RPG maker after its acquisition by Microsoft for $68 billion. 1,900 employees across both the Xbox and Activision Blizzard teams have been laid off – in a statement addressing those affected, Ybarra says his “heart is with each one of you.”

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“I want to thank everyone who is impacted today for their meaningful contributions to their teams, to Blizzard, and to players’ lives. It’s an incredibly hard day and my energy and support will be focused on all those amazing individuals impacted. To the Blizzard community, I also want to let you all know today is my last day at Blizzard. Leading Blizzard through an incredible time and being part of the team, shaping it for the future ahead, was an absolute honor.

“Having already spent 20-plus years at Microsoft and with the acquisition of Activision Blizzard behind us, it’s time for me to once again become Blizzard’s biggest fan from the outside. To the incredible teams at Blizzard, thank you. Words can’t express how I feel about all of you… To all of those impacted today, I am always available to you and understand how challenging today’s news is. My heart is with each one of you.”

Blizzard survival game canceled: A statement from former Blizzard president Mike Ybarra

Internal memos obtained by The Verge confirm that Blizzard’s unannounced survival game, which has been in development for around six years, is now canceled.

“Today’s actions affect multiple teams within Blizzard, including development teams, shared service organizations and corporate functions,” Xbox Studios head Matt Booty says, in a note to staff. “As part of this focus, Blizzard is ending development on its survival game project and will be shifting some of the people working on it to one of several promising new projects Blizzard has in the early stages of development.”

Microsoft will reportedly name a new Blizzard president in the next week. Allen Adham, who worked as a designer on the original Diablo, as well as Warcraft 3, WoW, and Overwatch 2, also leaves the company with immediate effect.

As well as Microsoft, Riot Games, creator of League of Legends recently announced a large round of layoffs, resulting in the closure of indie game development wing Riot Forge.