NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) – Blizzard Entertainment’s disastrous remake of the classic video game Warcraft III last year was the result of mismanagement and financial pressures, according to newly revealed documents and people with knowledge of the failed launch.
The release also reflected Blizzard’s significant cultural changes in recent years, as corporate owner Activision Blizzard has pushed the game developer to cut costs and prioritise its biggest titles.
Warcraft III: Reforged was a long-awaited reimagining of one of Blizzard’s most popular games. Blizzard President J. Allen Brack called the original title “monumentally important” when Reforged was announced in 2018.
The company promised “over four hours of updated in-game cutscenes and re-recorded voice-overs”. But the project was never a priority for the company, in part because a remaster of an old strategy game had little chance of becoming the type of billion-dollar product that Activision wanted, according to the people, who asked not to be named because they were not authorised to speak on company matters.
With Blizzard pressured to focus on its biggest franchises, Warcraft III: Reforged could not get the ambitious budget that its leaders wanted.
When Warcraft III: Reforged was released on Jan 28, 2020, it was widely panned, earning a 59 of 100 on the review aggregation website Metacritic.