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Blizzard Embarks on 'New Era' Post Microsoft Acquisition

By Xueyang
Nov. 8, 2023 updated 11:33

Blizzard Embarks on 'New Era' Post Microsoft AcquisitionBlizzard Embarks on 'New Era' Post Microsoft Acquisition

As Blizzard Entertainment begins navigating its path under Microsoft’s wing, President Mike Ybarra opened BlizzCon 2023 with a note on the company entering a "new era." Despite the uncertainty of how Microsoft’s acquisition will alter Blizzard’s course, Ybarra remains optimistic. He believes that under Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer's leadership, Blizzard will enjoy more autonomy and creativity, akin to an independent studio, translating into enhanced player services.

Currently, Ybarra reports "business as usual," with no immediate Microsoft-led changes anticipated. He reflects on Blizzard’s evolution from its pre-'World of Warcraft' days, through the 'World of Warcraft' era, to what he now anticipates will be a transformative chapter under Microsoft. Blizzard’s commitment to player trust remains a priority, following past company challenges, with new measures for cultural improvement being a focus.

Blizzard’s Chris Metzen introducing World of Warcraft’s next expansion at BlizzCon 2023.Blizzard’s Chris Metzen introducing World of Warcraft’s next expansion at BlizzCon 2023.

Ybarra is confident that the slew of live service games, such as 'Diablo IV' and 'Overwatch 2', and future expansions like the 'Worldsoul Saga' for 'World of Warcraft', will meet the high-quality standards that Blizzard fans expect. Despite industry trends and competitors facing challenges with the live service model, Blizzard continues to contemplate the balance between frequent content updates and monetization strategies that satisfy both the company and the players.

With mobile gaming identified as a growth avenue, Blizzard plans to further capitalize on this segment, hinted by the launch of 'Warcraft Rumble' and the success of 'Diablo Immortal'. While Ybarra kept silent on the untitled survival game Blizzard teased and gave no updates on the return of Blizzard’s games in China or developments on the 'StarCraft' series, he emphasized the company's global mission and openness to exploring diverse gaming experiences, including the potential for new IPs and game models.

The "new era" for Blizzard under Microsoft seems poised to blend tradition with innovation, aiming to cater to a worldwide audience eager for the quality and engaging content that Blizzard is known for.

Source: The Verge