Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 have been delayed, Blizzard Entertainment announced Tuesday, and those highly anticipated sequels may not be released until 2023, based on comments made during an Activision Blizzard investor presentation.
“While we are still planning to deliver a substantial amount of content from Blizzard next year, we are now planning for a later launch for Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV than originally envisaged,” Activision Blizzard said Tuesday. “These are two of the most eagerly anticipated titles in the industry, and our teams have made great strides towards completion in recent quarters. But we believe giving the teams some extra time to complete production and continue growing their creative resources to support the titles after launch will ensure that these releases delight and engage their communities for many years into the future.”
Blizzard Entertainment had not officially communicated release dates for Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4, other than to say earlier this year that neither title would be released in 2021. Both games were announced at BlizzCon 2019, and Overwatch 2 was widely expected to arrive sometime in 2022.
Overwatch fans will get a preview of sorts of Overwatch 2’s new game rules next spring, when the Overwatch League will run on an “early build” of the sequel’s new 5v5 competitive multiplayer mode.
Diablo enthusiasts, on the other hand, recently got a remastered version of the second game in the series in the form of Diablo 2: Resurrected. Blizzard Entertainment is also working on a mobile spinoff called Diablo Immortal, which recently went into closed beta testing on Android in Canada, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and China.
In its delay announcement, Activision Blizzard cited working “with new leadership in Blizzard,” and within the Diablo and Overwatch franchises, as contributors to the delays. Both franchises have seen shakeups in 2021. Diablo 4’s original game director was “exited” from Blizzard in August, in the wake of a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard that alleged gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment at the game publisher. He was replaced by a new game director in October. Overwatch has seen similar leadership changes; the game’s original director left Blizzard in April, followed by its executive director in September.