BlizzCon 2023 and Blizzard’s unnamed survival game are both still happening

Plus: Blizzard handwaves some math


The World of Warcraft roadmap wasn’t the only thing Blizzard dropped yesterday just before the holidays: Blizzard president Mike Ybarra also penned an address to the broader playerbase in what is his first post in a year.

While the blog primarily focuses on the company’s releases and achievements during 2022, it does include a few nuggets; he says that “as many as 50 million new players joined the Blizzard community.” That figure is apparently based on “new accounts created and at least [one] Blizzard game played” over the course of the year. Readers will recall that Blizzard’s actual monthly active users (MAUs) as reported to investors were their lowest in many years at the top of 2022 (22M) and rose to 27M in Q2 and 31M in Q3, largely on the back of mobile game Diablo Immortal, so Ybarra is essentially telling us that the vast majority of new users in the Blizzard ecosystem do not stay. The company has not returned to its reported peak 38M MAU numbers from 2018.

Ybarra also talks up changes to the ol’ Blizzard values and the diversity, equity, and inclusion figures that the company released earlier in December. In our reporting at the time, we noted that the company’s small diversity gains were likely the result of reclassifying non-binary workers with female workers and making 1000 part-time QA workers full-time as part of well-documented unionbusting efforts.

Perhaps most notably, Ybarra reiterates his July message that BlizzCon is returning in 2023 – “Yes, we’re bringing BlizzCon back—more on that early next year!” – and says the team working on the unnamed Blizzard survival game has “doubled in size” in 2022.

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