When it comes to the gaming industry, in the last year or two, there has been no company that has had as many scandals as Activision Blizzard. Not only because of the sexual harassment, Blitzchung controversy, and employees stealing breast milk, but also because the games they have been creating have gone a bit stale, and they were coming out unfinished.
There is a chance for redemption
So far, 2022 seems to be looking like a pretty good year for Activision Blizzard. The biggest change that the company is going through is the gigantic buyout deal they did with Microsoft, where they bought them out for a whopping $68.7 billion. While the deal is to be concluded next year, it seems that it is already having some kind of impact on the company.
There seem to be quite a lot of positive changes going on, and the biggest one is the fact that the company actually cares about its games, and they are taking feedback for some of their biggest titles into consideration. Before we go over their existing IPs and their state, it is worth mentioning that in January, Blizzard opened up applications for positions that will be working on a brand new IP that is going to be a survival game for PC and consoles.
The Warcraft IP
Probably their biggest IP has had its ups and downs (mostly downs) over the last few years. While Warcraft III: Reforged is certainly still in a horrible state, and we speculate that it is going to stay that way, World of Warcraft seems to be improving quite a bit.
For starters, Blizzard will actually take some time with their newest expansion, Dragonflight, instead of rushing it out to meet a deadline. While this will make Shadowlands last a bit longer, they will introduce brand new mechanics that will bring life to the previous raids of the current expansion, similar to Mythic+. It seems like WoW has a bright future ahead, especially with all the new things that are supposed to come with Dragonflight, such as the new unique race/class combo, dragon riding skill, talent overhaul, profession rework, and more.
Since Hearthstone is also technically a part of the Warcraft IP, there is not much to say about it, really. It is surprisingly a title that has been doing quite well, especially when it comes to esports tournaments since the format got revamped last year and once again updated this year.
The Overwatch IP
Overwatch 2 was announced at Blizzcon 2019, and the updates Blizzard has been giving since then were all over the place. To spare you all the unnecessary details, the game will finally release this year, and it is actually already available in closed beta.
While many were skeptical about Overwatch 2 being something that is worth coming back to, with the announcement of the beta, you can already see some of the best Overwatch streamers playing nothing but this game. Of course, watching streamers and participating in the beta is quite exciting, but it is not as thrilling as seeing some of the best Overwatch teams in action on the updated version of the game (an actual update, not just a “2” slapped on the client).
For those wondering which updates we are referring to, Overwatch 2 has already received a bunch of reworks that fans are already very excited about. Among the fans, the best one has to be the Bastion rework, where players can shift into tank mode that has a mini-gun as well as a cannon that fires artillery. There is also a new hero called Sojourn, which is definitely going to be loved by those who have played Quake 3 arena back in the day, as her primary weapon feels like the legendary Railgun.
The Diablo IP
We apologize, but not making the “Don’t you guys have phones?” joke is almost impossible when Diablo is in question. Now that we have that out of the way, we can happily say that the Diablo universe has quite a lot going on for it. For starters, the Diablo: Immortal release is just around the corner, as it is coming out on June 2nd for mobile devices and is entering PC beta later this year.
As for Diablo 4, Blizzard seems to be hiring more staff to work on the game, and while we did get more footage recently, we should not expect any big announcements until 2023. With the success of Diablo II: Resurrected, Blizzard seems to have noticed that fans really love the genre and the IP and thus have recently released a patch with a lot of quality of life changes, and they are also looking to improve character models for the future title like the fans requested.