Proletariat has been aquired by Blizzard Entertainment. Proletariat are the team who developed the battle-royale game; Spellbreak. It was a magic-based battle-royale game which featured witches and wizards. It also allowed players to cast a variety of spells in order to gain the upper hand on the battlefield.
Sad news for fans of that game emerged earlier today when it was announced that work will cease on Spellbreak with immediate effect. This means that the game will no longer be updated and the game’s servers will be taken offline entirely in 2023. All of this just 3 short years after the game launched in 2020. Proletariat put out a statement to go along with the news which read:
“We are grateful to everyone in the game’s community for exploring the magical worlds and experiences we created together. Spellbreak was an ambitious project that saw our team push new boundaries in design and development and we are excited to continue to innovate as we create new titles in the future.”
The team, who are based in Boston, will instead begin working in content for World of Warcraft at Blizzard’s request. This will encompass the upcoming Dragonflight expansion as well as future World of Warcraft expansions and DLC packages. Mike Ybarra, president of Blizzard Entertainment, also made a statement following the deal, which read:
“We are putting players at the forefront of everything we do, and we are working hard to both meet and exceed their expectations. Proletariat is a perfect fit for supporting Blizzard’s mission in bringing high-quality content to our players more often.”
Microsoft aquired Activision Blizzard back in January of this year for an eye-watering £56 billion ($68.5 billion). It is still the biggest deal ever done in the gaming industry from a financial point of view. Unfortunately an inevitable side-effect of these kinds of deals taking place is that smaller creative studios suffer and are forced to work on whatever they are assigned by the parent company.
Following the arrangement, Activision now have control of Crash Bandicoot, Spyro The Dragon, Call Of Duty, Warcraft, Age Of Empires, Hearthstone, Diablo, Candy Crush and Overwatch. Due to all of these franchises being under one roof, some have accused Activision of attempting to create a monopoly of IP.
This is not the first time since that deal took place that something like this has happened. In April of this year, Blizzard officially aquired Vicarious Visions. It has since been revealed that Vicarious Visions had initially planned to follow up their remake of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 with a remake of THPS 3+4. However, that project was cancelled so that the studio can aid in the development of Overwatch 2.
The news that Proletariat has been aquired by Blizzard is just the latest development in what has been dubbed by some as, “The War of Acquisitions.” Sadly, it seems that creative, innovative studios are the first casualties of this war. It is likely that the trend of smaller subsidiary studios being closed down in order to get the staff to work on a huge company-wide project is not one that is going away any time soon.
What do you make of the announcement that Proletariat has been aquired by Blizzard? Are you a fan of Spellbreak who will miss the game when the servers shut down next year? What do you make of the trend of Activision Blizzard closing down their subsidiary teams? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section, or you can hit me up on twitter linked below.