A Blizzard of Changes: Farewell to Mike Ybarra and the Unseen Survival Game | GAME3A
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A Blizzard of Changes: Farewell to Mike Ybarra and the Unseen Survival Game

In a whirlwind of news, the upcoming Blizzard survival game has met an untimely demise, while Mike Ybarra bids farewell to his roles in the developmen...

George Marston Jan 25, 2024
A Blizzard of Changes: Farewell to Mike Ybarra and the Unseen Survival Game


In a whirlwind of news, the upcoming Blizzard survival game has met an untimely demise, while Mike Ybarra bids farewell to his roles in the development of Diablo 4, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch 2. The recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft has also resulted in the unfortunate layoff of 1,900 employees across both the Xbox and Activision Blizzard teams. Alongside this upheaval, Allen Adham, the esteemed chief design officer behind Diablo, Warcraft, and StarCraft, has decided to depart from Blizzard as well.

Scene 1: Mike Ybarra's Departure
As the president of Blizzard, Mike Ybarra has played a crucial role in the development of both Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2. However, with Microsoft's acquisition of Blizzard for a staggering $68 billion, Ybarra has decided to step away from the RPG-making giant. In an emotional statement, he expresses his gratitude to the impacted employees and the Blizzard community, bidding farewell to his time at the company and becoming their biggest fan from the outside.

Scene 2: The Fallout
The repercussions of this acquisition and restructuring are felt deeply within Blizzard. A total of 1,900 employees from both Xbox and Activision Blizzard have been laid off, leaving a void of talent and potential. The cancellation of Blizzard's unannounced survival game, which had been in development for six years, adds to the somber atmosphere. Internal memos confirm the project's demise, leaving a sense of what could have been.

Scene 3: A Shift in Focus
Matt Booty, the head of Xbox Studios, addresses the staff in a note, acknowledging the impact of these changes. He reveals that Blizzard will redirect some of the affected individuals to other promising projects in their early stages of development. The company aims to adapt and move forward, despite the setbacks, searching for new horizons to explore.

Scene 4: A New Era
With Microsoft taking the reins of Blizzard, the appointment of a new president is imminent. Speculation mounts as to who will take on this significant role, shaping the future of the company. Meanwhile, Allen Adham, a veteran designer responsible for the success of Diablo, Warcraft 3, WoW, and Overwatch 2, departs from Blizzard alongside Ybarra, leaving behind a legacy of iconic games and cherished memories.

Scene 5: Industry Turmoil
The changes at Blizzard are not isolated incidents in the gaming industry. Riot Games, the creators of League of Legends, have also recently announced a wave of layoffs, resulting in the closure of their indie game development wing, Riot Forge. These shifts highlight the dynamic and ever-changing nature of the gaming landscape, where even the most established companies must adapt to survive.


As the dust settles on this whirlwind of changes, Blizzard stands at the crossroads of a new era. With the cancellation of the survival game and the departure of key figures like Mike Ybarra and Allen Adham, the company faces both challenges and opportunities. Microsoft's acquisition paves the way for fresh beginnings, as promising new projects emerge from the ashes. The gaming industry, with its constant ebb and flow, reminds us that even amidst uncertainty, innovation and creativity can thrive.