What just happened? Bad news for anyone looking forward to playing Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2: Activision Blizzard has announced that both games have been delayed, with no official launch windows given. In all likelihood, we won't see the next entries in each respective series until 2023 at the earliest.
Neither the highly anticipated Diablo 4 nor Overwatch 2 had been given official release dates, but Activision Blizzard, during its recent third-quarter 2021 earnings call, said, "While we are still planning to deliver a substantial amount of content from Blizzard next year, we are now planning for a later launch for Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV than originally envisaged."
The company said the delay was so more work could be put into developing the games. "It has become apparent that some of the Blizzard content planned for next year will benefit from more development time to reach its full potential," reads the report.
Diablo IV and Overwatch 2 delayed pic.twitter.com/4pr9c0OEdz--- Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) November 2, 2021
When Blizzard first unveiled Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV at Blizzcon 2019, it said the games were expected to arrive sometime in 2021, but it appears neither will arrive until 2023 at the earliest.
A delay isn't totally unexpected. As a result of the ongoing sexual harassment/discrimination lawsuit brought against Activision Blizzard by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Diablo 4 has lost its game director (Luis Barriga) and lead designer (Jesse McCree). Overwatch character McCree, named after the designer, was recently renamed to Cole Cassidy.
It's not been smooth sailing for Overwatch 2, either. Director Jeff Kaplan departed the studio in April, and Chacko Sonny, executive producer on Overwatch, left in September.
Earlier this year, Blizzard announced that mobile spin-off Diablo Immortal was also being delayed, until the first half of 2022.
Activision added that the Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 delays will give the teams behind them "some extra time to complete production and continue growing their creative resources to support the titles after launch will ensure [the] releases delight and engage their communities for many years into the future."
There was more troubling news for Activision Blizzard in its earnings call. Jen Oneal, who was appointed co-leader alongside Mike Ybarra just three months ago after president J. Allen Brack stepped down, has announced she is also leaving the under-fire company.
Oneal wrote that seeing Blizzard employees "working towards meaningful, lasting change" inspired her to "step out and explore how I can do more to have games and diversity intersect, and hopefully make a broader industry impact that will benefit Blizzard (and other studios) as well."