The problem at Blizzard is bigger than expected: ‘2026 release seemed overly optimistic’

Based on the latest report from Bloomberg, Blizzard’s survival game codename ‘Odyssey’ faced significant issues before cancelation primarily due to challenges related to its Synapse engine.

The new IP marked the company’s first since the release of Overwatch in 2016, and it was announced publicly in 2022 as the company began hiring more staff. However, due to the impact on the division of Activision Blizzard, where a significant number of the 1900 developers were affected, the project was canceled. Some of the workforce originally assigned to the canceled project will now shift to contribute to other upcoming games from the company.

Matt Booty, head of Xbox Studios, explained that the recent announcement affects various departments within the company, such as development teams and support services. He noted that Blizzard is discontinuing the development of their survival game and reallocating some team members to participate in other projects that Blizzard is just beginning to work on.


In the report published by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, Blizzard had to call off their survival game mainly because of troubles with its engine, Synapse, because of technical issues related to the engine, which includes the set of tools and technology developers use to build a game, Bloomberg reported after being informed by people familiar with the process.

Developers tested features of the new IP on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, but later had to transfer their ideas to their own engine Synapse (an in-house engine for mobile games and other projects).

The idea was to create maps supporting up to 100 players at once, but unfortunately, progress with this in-house engine was slow. Although the developers were hopeful that Microsoft’s acquisition could pave the way to the Unreal Engine, the project ended up being cancelled.

Despite facing challenges, early versions of Odyssey showed promise, with players enjoying it and seeing market potential. However, the game was far from finished, and Blizzard’s goal of a 2026 release seemed overly optimistic to some developers, leading to uncertainty about its completion.