Blizzard loses users, numbers in sharp decline

Blizzard loses users, numbers in sharp decline

Blizzard loses users

Activision Blizzard is certainly not having a good time, especially after allegations of exploitation and harassment against employees. The company, one of the largest and most influential in the gaming industry, recently had to manage a major internal reorganization following the events, but in the last few hours GameRant has also reported other bad news. During an investor conference, Blizzard unveiled that some of its titles, such as World of Warcraft, Overwatch and Hearthstone, have seen a steep decline in players.

Specifically, from 2017 to present the number of users connected on a monthly basis fell from the peak of 46 million (reached in the second quarter of 2017) to 26 million. A chart shared on Reddit shows even more clearly the decline in numbers, unstoppable despite the success of the December 2020 World of Warcraft Shadowlands expansion. Blizzard did not explain in detail what was the real reason for this decline, although some users have complained over the years of a lack of long-term support for titles such as - in fact - Overwatch.

Moreover, to worsen the situation there is the passage of many World of Warcraft players towards Final Fantasy XIV, which on the contrary, it gained new users by surpassing the title Blizzard's MMO in the number of concurrently active users on Steam. What is clear is that the company is having serious problems keeping the community close, and the recent allegations of abuse have only made the already complicated situation worse.

In 4 years, Blizzard has lost almost half of its monthly active users (46m to 26m MAUs) reveals Activision Blizzard's latest Earning Call (Q2 2021). from wow

It is even more difficult to predict how Activision Blizzard will try to resolve the situation and return to boasting as large a user base as it did years ago. However, the arrival of works such as Diablo 2: Resurrected, Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 should bring the franchises closer to more players. Let us know by commenting below what you think: have you progressively put aside Blizzard games too?

If you haven't tried it yet, on Amazon you can buy Diablo 3: Eternal Collection on this page.

Activision Blizzard loses three senior designers amid sexual harassment lawsuit

Three senior designers pivotal to Diablo 4 and World of Warcraft are no longer at Activision Blizzard. Kotaku confirmed the trio of abrupt departures after initially learning about them from internal sources. They include Diablo 4 game director Luis Barriga, lead designer Jesse McCree, and World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft. Insiders told the publication that the three developers names had been removed from Blizzard’s internal directory and Slack. 

News of the shakeup arrives as Activision Blizzard is grappling with allegations of systemic gender discrimination and sexual harassment. The incendiary accusations, which were revealed in a lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), have already led to damaging repercussions for the publisher. Blizzard is facing an internal outcry, with workers staging walkouts and demanding corrective action. Earlier this month, the company lost its president and was hit with a lawsuit by investors irked by its handling of the crisis. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has admitted that the publisher's original response to the DFEH filing was 'tone-deaf.'

While the company did not give a specific reason for the latest departures, two of the designers (namely McCree and LeCraft) were reportedly pictured in photos of the infamous 'Cosby Suite.' This was the hotel room explicitly mentioned in the DFEH lawsuit where male employees allegedly harassed women at company events. As Overwatch fans may know, the game features a cowboy called Jesse McCree named after the now ex-Blizzard employee. It remains to be seen if the publisher changes the character's name.

“We have a deep, talented roster of developers already in place and new leaders have been assigned where appropriate,' a spokesperson for Blizzard told Kotaku. 'We are confident in our ability to continue progress, deliver amazing experiences to our players, and move forward to ensure a safe, productive work environment for all.”