Blizzard Entertainment faces a major shakeup with the cancellation of its survival game, ‘Odyssey’, and the departure of its President, Mike Ybarra. This comes in the wake of Microsoft’s confirmation of extensive layoffs affecting 1,900 employees across its gaming divisions, including Activision Blizzard, Bethesda, and Xbox.
The Fallout of Microsoft’s Decision
The tech giant announced a massive layoff, impacting approximately 1,900 staff members in its various gaming subsidiaries. Following this, Blizzard revealed the termination of ‘Odyssey’, a project that had been in development for several years but had shown little more than job listings and conceptual artwork.
The game’s cancellation marks a significant shift in Blizzard’s project trajectory.
Leadership Changes at Blizzard
Mike Ybarra, serving as Blizzard’s president, took to Twitter to announce his departure. His exit, under unspecified circumstances, comes amid these sweeping changes. Ybarra expressed his continued support as a fan outside the company.
The layoffs also affected Allen Adham, a co-founder of Blizzard and its current head of design, leaving a notable gap in the company’s leadership.
I want to thank everyone who is impacted today for their meaningful contributions to their teams, to Blizzard, and to players’ lives. It’s an incredibly hard day and my energy and support will be focused on all those amazing individuals impacted – this is in no way a reflection…
— Mike Ybarra 🎄 (@Qwik) January 25, 2024
Blizzard’s Odyssey Cancelled, President Mike Ybarra Departs Amid Layoffs
The cancellation of ‘Odyssey’ and the departure of Mike Ybarra signal a tumultuous period for Blizzard Entertainment. These events, stemming from Microsoft’s strategic decisions, may significantly influence the future direction of the company and its projects.