Blizzard president Mike Ybarra has talked up the positive impact of Microsoft acquiring the studio.
The Xbox maker completed its $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard last month, in the process taking ownership of franchises including World of Warcraft, Diablo and Overwatch.
Discussing the impact of the deal in an interview with The Verge, Ybarra said he thinks Blizzard will be afforded more freedom than has previously been the case.
“I think the way [Xbox boss Phil Spencer] approaches building teams and focusing on culture and enabling creative freedom is going to give Blizzard a lot more of that sense of being an independent studio than ever before,” he said.
“That’s what I really mean when I talk about a new era of possibilities, of empowerment, of serving players even better than we ever have.”
Ybarra, who joined Blizzard in 2019 following almost 20 years at Microsoft, was joined by Spencer on stage during BlizzCon’s opening ceremony last week.
Microsoft’s head of gaming, who recently visited the Warcraft studio with Xbox’s leadership team to meet employees, proclaimed “the future of Blizzard is brighter than ever” during last week’s fan convention.
“Blizzard’s influence is everywhere, and because of its enduring legacy and phenomenal, revolutionary development, with a care and a craft that is incredibly rare in this industry,” he said.
“Our commitment at Xbox is to bring more great games to more players, in more places. And now that Blizzard is part of Xbox, we will nurture the essence of what has made Blizzard unique.
“We’re going to empower our new colleagues in a culture of trust, inclusion, and collaboration, to continue what they do best: redefining existing genres, creating new, never before seen experiences, and uniting players globally in new ways – in Azeroth, in Sanctuary, in near-future Earth, and beyond.”
Spencer recently discussed how Xbox plans to approach utilising Activision Blizzard’s back catalogue of games.
The exec said he would be fully supportive of studio’s revisiting older titles if it was a direction they wanted to take, “because I think there’s just an amazing trove of things that we can go and touch again”, but suggested doing so wasn’t something that Xbox would mandate.
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