Let’s start with the good news here. According to the most recent article covering Blizzard’s ongoing corporate culture shifts on Kotaku, the studio’s shifts will all but certainly include making more games more often. That’s a good thing if you were worried that the studio’s game-making departments were getting cut. No, it turns out it’s just everything else being cut down, with the company quietly expanding its buyout program to cover more departments and rumors of layoffs in 2019.
Yes, it turns out the Cork buyouts were a particular tip to the iceberg, not the whole story.
Several former employees have stated that the corporate culture surrounding the studio’s titles has been steadily shifting, right down to the element of releasing more titles more often. The gutting of Heroes of the Storm‘s e-sports division is just part of the overall restructuring, which is taking money and support away from most of the things in the studio not directly related to making more games. It remains to be seen what impact this will have on the studio’s titles moving forward, but expect to see the changes of this year presage 2019 rather than being isolated blips.