Blizzard's canceled survival game was in development for over half a decade

by Danny Craig  · 
Blizzard's canceled survival game was in development for over half a decade
Blizzard Entertainment

Following significant layoffs at Microsoft Gaming, new details about Blizzard’s now-canceled survival game have been revealed, including that it had been in the works for over six years.

The details:

  • On January 25, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer confirmed that 1,900 employees would be let go from Activision Blizzard, Xbox, and ZeniMax. This announcement came alongside the cancellation of Blizzard's survival project, codenamed Odyssey, which was announced in 2022 and was scheduled for release in 2026.

  • According to a new Bloomberg report, the game had been in development for more than six years, after developer Craig Amai pitched the concept in 2017. It was directly inspired by Minecraft and Rust, and it was designed to support up to 100 players in a single multiplayer lobby.

  • Blizzard continued to focus on its established IPs, but the project's team grew to around 100 developers by the time it was canceled on Thursday. Its developers have now been laid off or assigned to other projects within the company.

  • The reason for its cancellation is said to be technical issues with its engine. Its prototype was built in Unreal Engine before transitioning to Blizzard's internal mobile engine, Synapse, which Bloomberg describes as "slow to coalesce." Following Microsoft's acquisition, it was hoped that development would return to Unreal, but this failed to happen.

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