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Blizzard buys ‘Spellbreak’ studio Proletariat to speed up ‘WoW’ development


It’s a busy spell for Blizzard, with , and mobile game all arriving this year. The studio has another major release lined up in the form of , which is expected to arrive by the end of 2022. To help get WoW expansions out on time and ensure they meet the bar in terms of quality, Blizzard bought Spellbreak studio Proletariat to bolster its ranks of developers, as reports.

The news comes one day after Proletariat announced it will shut down Spellbreak early next year. The free-to-play game is an intriguing take on the battle royale genre, with players using magical powers instead of guns. The game never took off, though. It had an average player count of 166 over the last month. , on the other hand, has more than a thousand times as many players at any given time .

More than 100 developers from Proletariat will now be focused on World of Warcraft, though the studio has been working with Blizzard since last month. The Boston-based studio also plans to expand its team.

WoW general manager John Hight has spoken of the difficulties his team has had in hiring to deliver content updates to players more quickly (the at the studio might have played a role in that). Bringing Proletariat on board should help.

“A big part of caring for our teams is making sure we have the resources to produce experiences our communities will love while giving our teams space to explore even more creative opportunities within their projects,’ Blizzard Entertainment president Mike Ybarra said. “Proletariat is a perfect fit for supporting Blizzard’s mission in bringing high-quality content to our players more often.”

Activision Blizzard is itself in the process of being . Given the and at the company, there’s a bit of irony in Blizzard snapping up a studio called .

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