Blizzard Entertainment has revealed plans to acquire developer Proletariat. Proletariat previously worked on third-person shooter Spellbreak, which was released in 2020. Following the acquisition, Proletariat’s role at Blizzard will be to act as a World of Warcraft support studio. That involves assisting the popular MMORPG’s current team in creating new expansions and other content. Blizzard’s acquisition of Proletariat follows the unfortunate news that Spellbreak will soon shut down. The fantasy battle royale game will stay online until early 2023. Despite reaching over ten million players at launch, it has struggled to maintain a competitive player count. The shut down of Spellbreak is not thought to be linked to the takeover.
Blizzard’s president Mike Ybarra has described the acquired studio as a “perfect fit,” for supporting Blizzard’s mission of delivering high-quality content. Even if that is just generic PR talk, Ybarra does have a point. Despite Spellbreak‘s recent difficulties, it was well-reviewed on launch, showing that Proletariat knows how to make a good game.
It’s interesting to see Blizzard acquire a studio given what fate awaits the publisher. In the near future, Microsoft will complete its acquisition of Activision Blizzard for over $68 billion. While Blizzard expanding isn’t overly surprising, some may have expected them to wait until the takeover went through. Regardless, given that Proletariat is only being used as a support studio, this move is unlikely to play a big role in Blizzard’s near future.
Who is Proletariat?
Proletariat was founded in 2012 by a variety of developers across multiple studios. Employees from Harmonix, Turbine, and Insomniac Games joined forces with a vision of creating exciting multiplayer games. The goal was to eventually create games of a scale that are rarely produced by a smaller studio. Over the years Proletariat has grown to house over one hundred employees with Spellbreak being its largest project to date.