Following news that magical battle royale game Spellbreak is shutting its doors, Activision Blizzard has announced it is acquiring the game’s developer Proletariat, who will be joining the World of Warcraft development staff in the lead-up to the MMORPG’s next expansion, WoW: Dragonflight. Proletariat’s CEO Seth Sivak says that “the level of ambition for what we want to do with World of Warcraft” was the big selling point for his team.
A report from GamesBeat details the acquisition, which WoW general manager John Hight says originated from talks back in December with Sivak. “I was really impressed with him,” says Hight, “The team felt like he had a lot of shared values and had a lot of knowledge of World of Warcraft.” With Blizzard now having shipped multiple expansions with a remote workforce, the team felt prepared to take on the Boston-based studio – many of whose employees are also still working remotely.
Sivak admits that, while the game received critical success, Spellbreak “just couldn’t get the escape velocity necessary for us to continue to expand it.” GamesBeat reports that the studios began working together in May, and that Proletariat “will be fully integrated into Blizzard Entertainment over the coming months.” Hight says that some of the developer’s work will be present in the Dragonflight expansion.
Asked how Blizzard’s recent criticisms and the ongoing Activision Blizzard workplace discrimination investigation affected Proletariat’s decision to join the team, Sivak says, “We had a very open and transparent conversation about this, and I think the Blizzard team recognised some of the challenges they’ve had.” He adds that the team at Proletariat felt “pretty happy and satisfied” with the direction that the Blizzard teams are moving in.
‘Blizzard employs Proletariat to help develop World of Warcraft’ may not have been on our 2022 bingo cards, but it does help to clarify why Spellbreak is coming to a close. The WoW: Dragonflight pre-purchase is live now, and the game’s next expansion is due to release by the end of 2022. A recent datamine uncovered a new murloc mount set to join the fantasy game as part of the upcoming release.