27 million players connect each month to a Blizzard-stamped game. A number that may seem impressive, but that is actually worrisome when compared to the 38 million that were crowding the company’s servers in 2018.
Blizzard hasn’t released a single new game in five years, and this status quo seems to be beating the players who even ignore the tenors of World of Warcraft, Diablo 3 or Overwatch—the latest game from the studio.
A desertion that worries
Blizzard’s been in a strange situation for the last few years. The company fired in turn, and two of its three co-founders (Frank Pearce and Mike Morhaime ) left the ship. Recently, it was even Jeff Kaplan, director of Overwatch, who took the powder.
More serious (for business), Blizzard would have lost 11 million monthly users in just three years. A fall that was made gradually according to the site Massively Overpowered, which has searched the company’s figures for us. In 2018 alone, the number of people working on Blizzard’s servers increased from 38 million in the first quarter to 35 million in the fourth quarter. In 2019 and early 2020, the number remained stable around 32 million players, before falling sharply to the figure presented today.
Thus, even the recent release of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands has not done miracles for those who are waiting, perhaps, more a Diablo IV or a Overwatch 2.
Several projects in progress
Blizzard is working on many projects in the second quarter of 2021. Some may have tried it: Diablo II Ressurected is one of the company’s most important projects for the coming year. This remaster/ remake (we let you debate in the comments) of the iconic hack n’ slash is indeed planned for this year on PC and consoles of old and new generation.
In 2021 we will also be able to discover Diablo Immortal. A mobile version that, if it could be viewed from above after its announcement, has finally shown a certain respect for the original material.
Later in the calendar we find Diablo IV. Announced in 2019, this new opus is not close to see the light at the end of the crypt. Recall that Diablo III was first shown in 2008 before coming out four years later.
Finally, there is Overwatch 2. Also announced at BlizzCon 2019, the continuation of the competitive FPS of 2016 should arrive a little before Diablo IV according to the noises of corridor.
In short, you will have understood: the road seems still long for Blizzard to regain its colors. Between the different controversies surrounding the company (wage disparities, the Blitzchung case, etc.) and the disappointment Warcraft III: Reforged, we cannot say that confidence is on the bright side.