Close the tome
[Update: Since this news broke earlier today, Blizzard Entertainment has noted to news outlets that it is still in the stage of intent in regards to purchasing Proletariat. The transaction has not been officially settled. Regardless, the closure of Spellbreak is still scheduled to take place in early 2023.
“We are putting players at the forefront of everything we do, and we are working hard to both meet and exceed their expectations,” said Blizzard CEO Mike Ybarra in a new statement. “A critical part of taking care of players is taking care of our teams—making sure we have the resources to produce experiences our communities will love while giving our teams space to explore even more creative opportunities within their projects. Proletariat will be a perfect fit for supporting Blizzard’s mission in bringing high-quality content to our players more often.”]
Proletariat has announced that it is preparing to shut down its fantasy battle royale title Spellbreak. The online servers will close on both PC and consoles in early 2023 rendering the game unplayable from then on. As reported by VentureBeat, the studio has been acquired by Blizzard Entertainment, and will now work support duties on World of Warcraft.
“We are grateful to everyone in the game’s community for exploring the magical worlds and experiences we created together,” wrote the development team on the official website. “Spellbreak was an ambitious project that saw our team push new boundaries in design and development and we are excited to continue to innovate as we create new titles in the future.”
“To all Spellbreak fans around the world, thank you for the support and dedication that made the game and community so special.”
Arriving in Early Access in 2018, during a flood of battle royale releases, Spellbreak chose a high fantasy setting and a cast of cool-looking wizards, witches, warlocks, and other sorcerer supremes as they fought it out in the mythical “Hollow Lands.” Spellbreak‘s mystical aesthetic was designed as a distinct alternative to the firearm-heavy, militaristic approach taken by so many battle royale titles.
While Spellbreak was received positively by critics it has, like so many titles in the wash of genre examples, found itself unable to maintain a long-term, mainstream audience. Millions of players traveled through the Hollow Lands in the ensuing four years, but titles such as Epic Games’ Fortnite, EA’s Apex Legends, and Activision’s Call of Duty Warzone still hold court as the dominant battle royale experiences.
Spellbreak will officially shut down on PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in early 2023. Proletariat’s first duties at Blizzard Entertainment will include working on the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Dragonflight. You can read an abridged timeline of the Activision Blizzard controversy right here.
Senior Editor – Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s. Former Saturday Night Slam Master. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors. Twitter: @ChrisxMoyse