Blizzard to Acquire Spellbreak Developer to Work on World of Warcraft

UPDATE 4:37pm ET: Blizzard PR has now clarified that the acquisition of Proletariat has not yet happened, though it intends to acquire the studio. The rest of the article continues below unaltered beyond that.

In case you somehow missed it, Spellbreak developer Proletariat announced yesterday that the magical battle royale video game was ending development and that its servers would shut down in early 2023. The timing might have seemed a bit odd to some with apparently nothing else in the pipeline for the developer. Well, now the other shoe has dropped as it has been announced that Blizzard intends to acquire Proletariat to work on World of Warcraft.

As reported by VentureBeat, the team at Proletariat has been working with the World of Warcraft team since May and some of the team's contributions will actually appear in World of Wacraft: Dragonflight, the new expansion announced in April 2022 and set to release before the end of the year. The exact terms of the acquisition, which is not final yet, have not been disclosed.

"We are putting players at the forefront of everything we do, and we are working hard to both meet and exceed their expectations," said Mike Ybarra, president of Blizzard Entertainment, as part of a statement shared by VentureBeat. "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. Proletariat is a perfect fit for supporting Blizzard's mission in bringing high-quality content to our players more often."

According to the report, Blizzard started looking for external partners to help with World of Warcraft content at the end of last year, and Proletariat was on the shortlist. "My first conversation with Seth [Sivak, CEO of Proletariat,] was back in December," said John Hight, World of Warcraft general manager for Blizzard, to VentureBeat. "I was really impressed with him. And then the team felt like he had a lot of shared values and had a lot of knowledge of World of Warcraft. The team had the ability to do stylized art, which we do, and work within medieval fantasy, which we love. And they had a lot of fans. So from their [sic] our discussions ensued."

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As noted above, Spellbreak is officially being sunset early next year. The developer, Proletariat, has been working with Blizzard Entertainment and the World of Warcraft team since May, according to the report, and will be integrated into the company fully over the next several months. The next expansion for the popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, is expected to release before the end of the year. You can check out all of our previous coverage of Blizzard Entertainment more generally right here.

What do you think about Blizzard Entertainment acquiring Proletariat? Are you disappointed to see Spellbreak get shut down? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop in order to talk about all things gaming!