clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Blizzard cancels its secret survival game as president and co-founder leave

Mike Ybarra and Blizzard veteran Allen Adham depart

Artwork for Blizzard’s untitled survival game featuring an ax-wielding ranger wearing an animal skull-shaped helmet inspecting an iridescent puddle in a forest setting Image: Blizzard Entertainment
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Blizzard Entertainment’s untitled survival game set in an original universe is no more. In the wake of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and amid sweeping layoffs across various Xbox gaming teams, the company has canceled the project, according to a report from the Verge.

As part of Microsoft’s restructuring of its Xbox, Zenimax, Activision, and Blizzard Entertainment teams, Blizzard president Mike Ybarra announced he’s leaving the company, effective immediately. In a statement on X, Ybarra said, “Today is my last day at Blizzard. Leading Blizzard through an incredible time and being part of the team, shaping it for the future ahead, was an absolute honor. Having already spent 20+ years at Microsoft and with the acquisition of Activision Blizzard behind us, it’s time for me to (once again) become Blizzard’s biggest fan from the outside.”

Ybarra assumed the role of Blizzard Entertainment in 2021, replacing outgoing president J. Allen Brack. Ybarra initially co-led the company with Jen Oneal, who left her post after just a few months.

Exiting alongside Ybarra is Blizzard co-founder and chief design officer Allen Adham. “As one of Blizzard’s cofounders, Allen has had a broad impact on all of Blizzard’s games,” said Microsoft game content and studios president Matt Booty, in a memo obtained by the Verge. “His influence will be felt for years to come, both directly and indirectly as Allen plans to continue mentoring young designers across the industry.”

Adham left Blizzard in 2004, and returned to the company over a decade later to creatively lead the World of Warcraft developer.

Blizzard’s untitled survival game was announced in 2022, and described as “a brand-new survival game for PC and console. A place full of heroes we have yet to meet, stories yet to be told, and adventures yet to be lived. A vast realm of possibility, waiting to be explored.”

The now-canceled game was destined to be Blizzard’s first new original property since the launch of Overwatch in 2016. It would also have been Blizzard’s first foray into the survival genre popularized by games like Minecraft, DayZ, and Rust — a genre that remains popular, as evidenced by new releases Palworld and Enshrouded.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.