End-of-year Blizzard Update

Hey everybody! It’s been a couple of yr since my final put up, and with 2022 coming to an finish, I felt it was a superb time for an replace.

2022 has been an incredible yr for Blizzard, made potential by the onerous work, creativity, and fervour of everybody who works right here, and the help, suggestions, and pleasure from the gamers. Putting individuals first—workers and gamers—is how we’re constructing the inspiration of the subsequent period of Blizzard.

Environment art of the lush green Ohnahran Plains from WoW: Dragonflight

A whole lot of this work has been inner, however I hope you’ll be able to see the outcomes of it in our video games: the enjoyment and love for Azeroth in World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, the colour and scale of seasonal updates in Overwatch 2, the care and respect in Wrath of the Lich King Classic and Diablo II: Resurrected, the creativity and attraction in Hearthstone, and the gameplay and wealthy story constructed into Diablo Immortal. We additionally acquired to point out off the chaotic glee constructed into Warcraft Arclight Rumble, and eventually the Diablo IV crew acquired to relish within the pleasure with a not too long ago introduced June 6, 2023 launch date.

Character art of Lilith from Diablo IV

About 12 billion hours of Blizzard video games have been performed this yr, and as many as 50 million new gamers joined the Blizzard neighborhood1, and this may not have been potential if not for the eagerness from the individuals inside Blizzard. We’re listening to from them that there’s a basic shift occurring, and it’s the hundreds of people that work right here who’re steering this ship towards one thing better than we’ve ever been—and we’ve solely simply begun.

Ramattra from Overwatch 2 posing with his staff in the snow

To give some readability on what’s occurred this yr, I promised in January that we might rent full-time positions to help the continuing work of bettering the tradition at Blizzard.

Additionally, we’ve made a number of vital modifications to our groups:

  • Blizzard cofounder Allen Adham, Chief Design Officer: Championing recreation design as a self-discipline, serving to to make sure we preserve Blizzard gameplay on the forefront of the participant expertise.
  • Holly Longdale, Executive Producer of World of Warcraft: After main WoW Classic, Holly now oversees all of World of Warcraft, bringing her deep MMO expertise to the fore.
  • Jared Neuss, Executive Producer for Overwatch 2: Taking a holistic strategy towards constructing an incredible live-service expertise for this unimaginable universe.
  • Peiwen Yao, Executive Producer for Diablo Immortal: Leading the co-development partnership for our debut mobile-first title.
  • April McKee, Executive Producer of BlizzCon: Yes, we’re bringing BlizzCon again—extra on that early subsequent yr!
  • Mike Elliott, Chief Technology Officer: A Blizzard veteran and engineering’s main voice, overseeing technical evaluations, suggestions, and execution.
  • Dan Hay, General Manager of Survival Game: Leading the crew which is infusing this style with Blizzard magic whereas crafting our first new IP since Overwatch. The crew has doubled in measurement this yr and we’re seeking to develop it much more within the new yr!

1New Battle.internet accounts created and no less than 1 Blizzard recreation performed.

Rebuilding the Foundations

While we’ve got full-time roles devoted to tradition, tradition isn’t the work of 1 individual or crew. It entails all of us daily, and it requires views and insights of various experiences, backgrounds, features, and identities. To this finish, we convened a tradition crew consisting of a wide selection of features throughout Blizzard who’re serving to us enhance how we work, and create and maintain a tradition that makes all of us higher.

Alex Horley painting of the Lich King from Hearthstone's March of the Lich King expansion

One of the opposite main tasks this yr has been taking a deep take a look at the mission, imaginative and prescient and values upon which Blizzard was constructed. We have been speaking about how these values are interpreted and lived, how they might be improved or modernized, and everybody at Blizzard had the prospect to have their voice heard on this essential work. This is a venture that our workers, in addition to gamers, will see the outcomes of within the new yr.

Warcraft Arclight Rumble mini characters in a toy-like pile

We’ve additionally made stable progress advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I): we held a profitable fourth Women’s Summit, we deployed DE&I-focused coaching throughout all workers, we’ve expanded self-identification choices to be extra inclusive, and over the previous yr, we elevated the share illustration of girls and non-binary individuals inside Blizzard from 22% to 25% whereas additionally rising the share of workers from under-represented ethnic teams from 34% to 36%.* While that is progress, our dedication is that our give attention to tradition and inclusion might be a core a part of our on a regular basis efforts at Blizzard. This work won’t ever be carried out. For you – our gamers – our hope is that you’re seeing it in our video games, the way in which we talk, and extra. We’re studying alongside the way in which, and it’s all of you who’re maintaining us heading in the right direction.

* This is as a share of non-temporary workers.  See additional particulars in our current announcement: https://www.activision.com/cdn/activisionblizzard/ABK-2022-Representation-Data.pdf

Environment art of Westmarch from Diablo

We have obtained a whole lot of suggestions this yr, and our groups are all the time listening—as we develop in these areas, we’ve got had vital moments that assist us be taught and be higher. Our gamers are all the time fast to tell us what they’re pondering and feeling, and for that, I need to thanks. I’m three years into my journey at Blizzard, and never lengthy into having the privilege of enjoying a small function in main Blizzard ahead. It’s inspiring to work right here: daily, I be taught from Blizzard and be taught from you, and as we shut out 2022, I couldn’t be extra grateful for that.

Finally, to our fantastic groups at Blizzard: thanks. We’re on a journey collectively to create a tremendous tradition that fosters and permits inventive power and recent pondering. Together we’re bringing Blizzard again, higher than ever.

Take care this vacation season: spend time with family members, your favourite video games, your favourite films and books, and take the time for yourselves. We’ll be doing the identical.

I’ll see you in Azeroth, Sanctuary, the tavern, and within the optimistic imaginative and prescient of the long run!

– Mike “Qwik” Ybarra

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