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Blizzard refutes claim that "crisis maps" are being created due to talent exodus
Multiple devs have suggested retention issues are disrupting production at the World of Warcraft studio.
April 21, 2023
2 Min Read
Blizzard has denied that its teams are creating "crisis maps" to keep tabs on what features they can and can't ship due to the number of employees departing the studio.
Earlier this week, World of Warcraft producer Adam "Glaxigrav" claimed Blizzard is "losing amazing talent" because of numerous issues within the studio.
Outlining their frustrations on Twitter, they said the studio won't be able to create better games "if we get rid of everyone" who's making them, and suggested issues with retention have created the need for "crisis maps" that show "what we can or cannot ship."
"That is the loss of capacity we’re facing," they added. "I literally have a schedule I strike out as people hand in notice."
Those comments were backed up by Warcraft senior game designer Allison Steele, who said that a forced return-to-office policy has cost the company some "amazing people."
"It is a terrible, shortsighted, self-destructive policy that is only weakening our ability to deliver the kind of games we want to make and our players deserve," said Steele on Twitter.
When approached for comment by IGN, Blizzard stated that creating crisis maps is "not a team practice for World of Warcraft," but noted that "making decisions around priorities, iterating, and ensuring quality are everyday parts of game development."
Back in February, Activision Blizzard confirmed that Blizzard employees will be asked to return to the office in July, and will be required to work in-office for at least three days a week.
"Activision Blizzard has been returning teams to the office over the past year," the spokesperson said. They continued by saying that the office days were created in partnership with the leadership of each team, and customized "based on what's best for the business and for the team," said the company at the time. "We look forward to the increased in-person collaboration and teamwork."
When that story broke, there were rumblings of discontent among Activision Blizzard workers on social media, with some suggesting the move would result in a large reduction in force.
Game Developer reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment earlier this week but weren't provided with a statement.
About the Author(s)
News Editor, GameDeveloper.com
Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.
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