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We have some more news from the new Blizzard co-leader, as Mike Ybarra has actually been streaming lately and got some +20ies done, offered up some opinions on certain game mechanics and even suggested to play WoW's biggest competitor, Final Fantasy 14 with Complexity-Limit's GM Max!
We already knew Ybarra was an avid and pretty serious WoW player, but now he's sharing some of that with the community as he streamed a gameplay session yesterday and also mentions he will be doing Q&As in future streams. First off we have this interesting little detail, as he (very quickly) comments on the AoE cap in one of the Mythic+ runs (as spotted by RoundFriend8529).
He actually took a look at chat before saying it, so it might just be one of those "please say uncap AoE" chat moments, so perhaps there's not that much to read into the clip. But just in case he really does dislike the cap, despite him not being directly involved in the actual hands-on development of WoW, having the boss of the entire company disliking a feature that a lot of the community also isn't a fan of might add some more weight to it. But it's certainly not a definitive "AoE cap is gone soon" type thing, so don't get your hopes up too much.
Then we have this really cool offer to play Final Fantasy 14 with current world no.2 WoW guild Complexity-Limit GM Max, in response to Max's comments on not wanting to spoil the FF14 raids for himself:
And finally, if you want to check out the Blizzard co-lead's entire stream, where he goes through not only some +20ies, but also some Diablo 2: Resurrected beta action, here's the full thing. D2R starts at 23:31, but we skipped to the first +20 directly below:
While this may not seem too spectacular or impressive to some, it really is very nice to see the new co-leader of Blizzard actually playing some games, and on a pretty high level as well, not to mention the offer to play FF14! Hopefully we'll see more of Ybarra's stream in the future, with the mentioned Q&A sessions, as it really might bring Blizzard closer to the community (although that first Q&A might be a little rough, presumably).
Also, he will be streaming Diablo 2: Resurrected and Death's Door sometime today.
Kotaku reports that Diablo 4's Game Director Luis Barriga, Lead Designer Jesse McCree, and World of Warcraft Designer Jonathan LeCraft were let go from Blizzard.
Kotaku reports that three high-profile developers have left Activision Blizzard today. The news was "delivered to development teams, but not officially announced." Sources close to Kotaku claim that the company has not provided any details about their departures.
You can read the full article over at Kotaku.
Former Blizzard Community Manager Brandy Camel, who also goes by the nickname Nevalistis, talked on her blog about her time at Blizzard and the memorable BlizzCon when Diablo Immortal was revealed.
Nevalistis said she was only promoted twice in her 6.5-year tenure in the community, and both times by her managers as they were leaving the team. The Diablo Immortal pushback was something that took a personal toll on her. Activision didn't want to "give up the surprise" that Diablo IV was being worked on. Eventually, they released a video, which "wasn't sufficient", and spokespeople like herself and the Immortal team were "hung out to dry" at BlizzCon. Nevalistis wanted to become a member of the Diablo team, but her application was refused. Ultimately, she decided to leave Blizzard for Dungeons & Dragons - Wizards. After leaving Blizzard, Brandy “realized how underpaid she was”. Here are a few excerpts from her personal blog. You can read the full post about her experience at Blizzard here.
Source: Nevalistis' Blog
Activision Blizzard held its quarterly earnings call yesterday and here are the highlights.
It's also worth noting Blizzard posted a press release ahead of the earnings call, addressing the lawsuit and the company's working environment that you can find here.
Q2 2021 Earnings Call Highlights
The launch of Burning Crusade Classic in June marked the start of what is intended to be a very significant 18-month period for content releases. Blizzard had 26 million monthly active users (MAUs) (down from 27 million MAUs in Q1 2021). For Blizzard, an individual who accesses the same game on two platforms or devices in the relevant period would generally be counted as a single user. World of Warcraft WoW net bookings grew double-digit percentage Y/Y, driven by the launch of Burning Crusade Classic. Subscriber numbers and hours played were higher following the release. WoW remains on track for much stronger engagement this year than is typical outside of a modern year. Hearthstone Forged in Barrens delivered expansion-over-expansion net bookings growth for a second consecutive release following its March launch. United in Stormwind and the new Mercenaries mode is expected to strengthen the financial performance of Hearthstone in the second half of 2021. Diablo The highly anticipated Diablo II: Resurrected will launch on PC and console on September 23. Diablo Immortal continued to progress well through testing, receiving excellent feedback for its gameplay. The team is pursuing additional opportunities to make the title even more engaging for a wider audience, with the launch now slated for the first half of 2022. Blizzard continues to make strong progress on Diablo 4 and is allocating substantial resources to creating exciting in-game content to drive engagement over multiple years. Overwatch 2 The game's development passed an important internal milestone in recent weeks. After a great response to the recent community update, the team is looking forward to revealing more of the game in the coming months as they approach the later stages of production.
J. Allen Brack isn't the only executive leaving Blizzard today. Jesse Meschuk, Blizzard's head of global Human Resources, has now departed too, according to The Verge and Bloomberg.
An Activision Blizzard spokesperson confirmed today that Jesse Meshuk is no longer with the company.
According to The Verge, the lawsuit suggested that employees were "discouraged from complaining as human resource personnel were know to be close to alleged harassers."
Activision Blizzard did not make any further comments about his departure. Jesse seems to have deleted his Twitter account too.
Placeholder for tweet 1422653540774907907 Source: The Verge + Bloomberg