As the year wraps up, Blizzard reviews a year all about players, games, and what’s in store for 2024.
Take the World of Warcraft team, for instance! They worked hard to make sure players had fun in both Dragonflight and Classic all year. Plus, the WoW community raised $1.5 million for BlueCheck Ukraine. More players joined in, exceeding the numbers from the Dragonflight launch.
Hearthstone had an eventful year, launching three expansions that transported players to a music festival, allowed them to wield the power of the Titans, and immersed them in the heart of the Badlands. The release of Warcraft Rumble with millions of players globally.
Diablo 4 had a successful launch, and the Season of Blood demonstrated the team’s dedication to developing the game in collaboration with the player community.
Diablo Immortal celebrated its first anniversary, introducing the first new class in nearly a decade: the Blood Knight. Make sure to check out the entire bluepost below!
Hey everyone! It was awesome to see so many of you at BlizzCon 2023 – if you joined us in person or online, thank you for being a part of it! As we head toward the end of 2023, this is a great time to reflect on what has been a massive year of learning, growing, and joy for Blizzard.
Blizzard Games in 2023
Looking back on this year, we had a great focus on putting people at the forefront of everything we do – both players and our teams at Blizzard.
- The World of Warcraft team worked hard throughout the year to ensure there was always something fun to do in both Dragonflight and Classic, with more players joining us right now than we saw at the launch of Dragonflight! The WoW communities alsoworked together to raise USD $1.5 million for BlueCheck Ukraine.
- Hearthstone launched three expansions – taking us to amusic festival, allowing us towield the power of the Titans, beforefinally bringing players to the heart of the Badlands. We also brought on a new game director this year, Tyler Bielman, and the team continues to inspire with their creativity.
- Warcraft Rumble launched at BlizzCon, and millions of players around the world are reveling in the joyful chaos.
- Diablo IV had an amazing launch, and Season of Blood is a great example of how the team is growing their game alongside their players.
- Diablo Immortal celebrated its first anniversary while introducing the first new class for the universe in nearly 10 years, the Blood Knight.
- Overwatch 2celebrated Pride in-game for the first time ever, and joined forces for legendary crossovers with our very ownDiablo,One-Punch ManandLE SSERAFIM.
The 2023 Blizzard Community By The Numbers
Blizzard Culture in 2023
We always say that we want to think of our culture work at Blizzard like the work on our games – part of who we are. We’re always building and iterating on different initiatives, programs, and more. We believe great ideas are core to Blizzard and should come from anywhere. Earlier this year, we relaunched Blizzard University (or BlizzU, as we like to call it) andintroduced Pamela Burga as our new DE&I Officer. Together, we hosted hundreds of trainings and events aimed at educating our teams and building our internal communities, totalling in 11,282 sign-ups throughout the year! We launched new employee networks, andbrought the Inclusion Nexus back to BlizzCon 2023. Our teams working on accessibility continue to inspire, with World of Warcraft continuing to take massive steps forward, andDiablo IV being nominated in the Innovation in Accessibility category at The Game Awards. This award recognizes advancements we’ve made with dexterity assistance (including button remapping); text assistance (including transcribing spoken word to chat); vision assistance (with audio cues) among many other areas so we can ensure our games are available and playable to as many people as possible. Within our industry, we are making it a priority to connect with, share, and learn from our peers: at GDC,the 2023 D.I.C.E Summit, multiple discipline-specific conferences, and through contributing to important research initiatives like theDesign Playbook for Digital Thriving.
Blizzard in 2024
Of course, alongside planning for and holding BlizzCon 2023, we have been planning for next year. 2024 is going to be a massive year for the Warcraft universe, with a collection of anniversaries coming up: 30 years since the first Warcraft game, 20 years of World of Warcraft, 10 years of Hearthstone, and the one-year anniversary of Warcraft Rumble! We have some fun activities planned throughout the year to celebrate within all of our communities (and across them!), and we’ll be releasing the first installment of the Worldsoul Saga,The War Within. Hearthstone will bringa new way to play Battlegrounds with friends with Duos, alongside more incredible themes and mechanics for upcoming expansion sets.Warcraft Rumblewill roll through seasons, bringing new minis, Raids, and even more ways to have fun in Azeroth on the go.
Diablo IV will have new seasons, and its first expansion,Vessel of Hatred, will also be released in 2024: this will continue the story of Mephisto and Neyrelle, and bring with it a brand-new class never before seen in the Diablo universe. Overwatch 2 will have three new heroes next year (Venture, a hero codenamed Space Ranger, and a yet-to-be-revealed tank), the new Clash mode, a rework of Competitive mode, and much more.
Then there are our projects in development. We look forward to sharing more about these projects with you when the time is right. As I said at BlizzCon, this is a brand-new era for Blizzard – now part of Microsoft Gaming – and so much more is possible as we double-down on what we love to do: craft genre-defining games and legendary worlds for all to share.
I want to end the year with a thank you – for supporting our teams here at Blizzard, whether it’s through how you play our games, what you share with us on social media, and more. This is only the beginning, and we couldn’t be more excited to be here alongside you.
See you in 2024!
- Mike “Qwik” Ybarra