Blizzard boss Mike Ybarra thinks the company will be afforded more freedom than ever before now that Microsoft owns Activision Blizzard. He says that the company is about to enter a “new era” under Microsoft and he sees Blizzard becoming more independent than ever.
During an interview with The Verge, Ybarra touched on the possibilities the acquisition will provide to the company. He says that Phil Spencer respects creative freedom when it comes to game development and he focuses on building teams.
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Ybarra believes that Blizzard will be able to serve players even better than before thanks to the acquisition. It also helps that Ybarra and Spencer worked together for eight years before he took over Blizzard.
“Right now things are pretty much business as usual. When Spencer and his team visited Blizzard it was more about just meeting people. They didn’t want to talk about business.”
Microsoft has been quite hush-hush about its future plans for Blizzard. Spencer recently stated that Xbox Game Pass won’t get its injection of Activision Blizzard titles until sometime in 2024. At the moment, it seems that everything is still working as usual at the company. This might be easier given the festive season is just around the corner and it is difficult to make changes.
Ybarra says he is confident that Blizzard can handle all the changes coming from Microsoft in the future while at the same time holding the Blizzard quality bar high.
“Nothing that we felt we had to show and [then] we’ll see in 10 years when it comes out. This is all stuff happening now. Players have no patience. They want new stuff every day, every hour. We’re trying to react that way while holding the Blizzard quality bar high.”
When asked about the future of live service, Ybarra says he often thinks about future titles and how they would be possible without a live service element. He claims that his team wrestles with the idea of standalone games without live components but in the current gaming era, this is not a viable solution.
“We want to serve players with more content in our universes. At the same time, we want to make sure we’re responsible and meet their expectations. I think we’re still fine-tuning a lot of those things as we go forward. But it’s something top of mind for me as we go forward.”
Lastly, Ybarra touched on the untitled survival game currently in development at Blizzard. The project was announced last year. Don’t expect any exciting news. He says the team will announce stuff when it is ready. However, he also says the recent job application listings got a little more attention than Blizzard expected.
“When that game is ready to showcase itself, that team will come to me and say we’re ready.”
Source: The Verge