Blizzard bought out Spellbreak’s Proletariat to shore up the World of Warcraft team

And yes, they're already working on Dragonflight


Hey, remember Spellbreak? It was a 2020 battle royale that was actually pretty well-liked around here, though it’s been quiet the last few months. And as of today, we’ve learned why: Studio Proletariat announced that it’s sunsetting Spellbreakas of early 2023.”

That’s because the company has been bought out by no less than Blizzard Entertainment to – as VentureBeat put it – “beef up the staff on its massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft” specifically “so that it can hit quality and timing goals for expansions.” The acquisition of Proletariat means 100+ devs now added to the WoW team, whose bosses have acknowledged hiring has been difficult.

In fact, it sounds as if Proletariat has already been working with Blizzard since May. Bringing on a second studio on the other side of the country sure would be a good way to whip out an expansion and get back on track with the ol’ cadence, eh? Indeed: “[S]ome of Proletariat’s work will appear in the Dragonflight expansion” according to Blizzard’s John Hight.

Proletariat’s CEO, Seth Sivak, also told VentureBeat that the company heads had discussed Activision-Blizzard’s ongoing scandals and brain-drain and that Proletariat is “pretty happy and satisfied with the direction that teams are going.”

RIP, Spellbreak.

Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial gaming company owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In 2021, the company was sued by California for fostering a work environment rife with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. Multiple state and federal agencies are investigating the company as employees strike and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation. As of 2022, the company is being acquired by no less than Microsoft.
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