Activision Blizzard has announced Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 will now arrive later "than originally envisaged", potentially pushing the launch of both titles into 2023 at the earliest.
"As we have worked with new leadership in Blizzard and within the franchises themselves," the publisher explained in its Q3 2021 earning report, "particularly in certain key creative roles, it has become apparent that some of the Blizzard content planned for next year will benefit from more development time to reach its full potential."
Both games have certainly had a tumultuous year; Overwatch 2 director Jeff Kaplan departed Blizzard back in April, while Chacko Sonny, executive producer on the Overwatch series, left in September. Diablo 4, meanwhile, has faced perhaps even more turmoil, losing its game director and lead designer - Luis Barriga and Jesse McCree, respectively - as Activision Blizzard dealt with the fallout of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing's ongoing lawsuit alleging sexual harassment, discrimination, and a "frat boy" work culture at the company. In October, Joe Shely was announced as the new game director on Diablo 4.
Activision says that while the Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 teams "have made great strides towards completion in recent quarters", it believes giving them "some extra time to complete production and continue growing their creative resources to support the titles after launch will ensure [the] releases delight and engage their communities for many years into the future."
As for when Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 might now launch, that's harder to say. The only clue Activision Blizzard previously gave regarding their release dates was that neither game would arrive in 2021. However, the publisher's references to "Blizzard content planned for next year" in its earnings report, and its note that the delays will "push out the financial uplift [it] had expected to see next year", suggest both titles will now arrive in 2023 at the earliest - although that obviously remains unconfirmed until the company is ready to share more.
Today's news follows Activision Blizzards's recent announcement that next year's BlizzConline is now on "pause" as it looks to "reimagine" the event.