“We’re bringing BlizzCon back,” says Mike Ybarra in his Blizzard end of the year update. In addition, he highlights efforts made at the company to improve its culture, and gives an update on the previously-announced survival title that will be their first new IP since Overwatch.
Since this is a year in review post, it does cover a lot of ground, but a few things stand out. One is, of course, recapping events and releases, alongside major events in their slate of games. From Dragonflight’s release, Overwatch 2 getting up and running as a live service (even with some initial issues and controversies), Diablo IV getting a June 2023 release date, and even to the success of games like Diablo Immortal. While all of these had their positive and negative feedback, they remain key to the overall Blizzard portfolio.
They also highlight efforts (and results) made after promising to increase the diversity of their teams, including new hires and promotions, as well as programming (like their fourth Women’s Summit, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training for employees). Much of the update is about efforts to change the company culture, new team members on board to both directly impact that goal and others to steer the lineup of games in the right direction and to increase representation among staff, there’s still much on the games that make this all possible.
Some other important info was nestled within these hiring and promotion announcements. April McKee is now the Executive Producer of BlizzCon, and the team will have more details on that early next year. After moving to a virtual model, and then being canceled entirely, bringing back BlizzCon in 2023 looks to be big. It's too early to speculate on scope or circumstances, but this declaration is not going unnoticed.
Dan Hay is now the General Manager of “Survival Game”. Blizzard isn’t ready to announce any more on this survival game they’re working on, but Hay is now leading a team that ybarra says has doubled in size in 2022, and is still on track to grow.
You can read the full letter from Mike Ybarra at Blizzard.