Blizzard has bought Proletariat, the developer of the free-to-play battle royale game Spellbreak, for an unknown fee.
According to VentureBeat, the Boston studio and its 100-person staff will be completely incorporated into Blizzard. Beginning with the next expansion for this year, Dragonflight, the studio will be devoted to assisting with the continued development of World of Warcraft.
The purchase’s announcement also sheds light on Spellbreak’s 2023 closure, which the studio announced less than a day before the news of the takeover broke.
Blizzard Recruited A New Developer
Former employees of the shuttered Zynga Boston office established Proletariat in 2012, with a primary focus on casual iOS games. The company moved on to create more core-focused games like World Zombination and Streamline after also hiring veterans from Harmonix, Turbine, and Insomniac. According to reports, Blizzard and Proletariat have been cooperating since May.
This is the second time in the last two years that a studio has been integrated into Blizzard to support a major franchise owned by the business. Vicarious Visions was integrated into Blizzard last year and assigned to the Diablo game development team. Four years after its release, Spellbreak has not been as successful as similar games in the genre. It added another name to the expanding list of battle royale games that failed to get much attention.
The closure of Hyperspace by Ubisoft was also announced a few months ago. In the meanwhile, Proletariat’s spell-based battle royale Spellbreak stated in a blog post on June 28 that the game’s servers will be permanently shut down in 2019. CEO of Proletariat Seth Sivak acknowledged that the game was unable to grow its player base, which is a must for battle royale games to be successful.