Skip to main content

Activision Teases New Survival Game for 2025 Amid Microsoft Controversies

Call of Duty's owner is looking for new worlds to conquer as it contends with internal controversies, labor unrest and its acquisition by Microsoft.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Amid a multi-billion acquisition and a series of controversies, Activision Blizzard  (ATVI) - Get Activision Blizzard, Inc. Report is looking to write a new chapter.

The computer game company's Blizzard Entertainment announced on Twitter Tuesday that it is working on a new survival game, its first since Overwatch in 2016.

'Every Story Needs a Teller'

"We're building a new survival game," the company said. "Join us in writing our new chapter."

The game will be for PC and console, Activision said in a statement. 

"Every story needs a teller," the company said. "And every world needs builders. What if that could be you?"

The announcement included a list of open positions, including senior character artist, level designer and several software engineer roles.

"It's a bold move to actually make an official announcement that early because many game projects die mid-way, especially those based on new IP," said Serkan Toto, CEO and found of Tokyo-based Kantan Games, a consultancy focused on Japan's game industry. "Blizzard in 2022 is not the blockbuster factory it used to be, so trying to get new talent through such an announcement is actually a good idea."

Toto said he does not expect the game to be released before 2025 or much later, depending on how smooth development goes.

"Blizzard has created some of the gaming world's biggest franchises, so them announcing a new IP becomes huge news in this industry instantly," he said.

The news comes on the heels on Microsoft's  (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report announcement last week that it would buy the "Call of Duty" maker for just under $69 billion in the latest and largest mega-deal for the video game industry. 

The announcement also comes after Activision Blizzard confirmed it had fired or disciplined more than 80 employees in a months-long probe into allegations of sexual harassment at the company.

Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick will continue to lead the company and report to Microsoft gaming CEO Phil Spencer, even though 500 Activision employees in November petitioned to remove Kotick from the company, saying they no longer had confidence in his leadership.

News reports said he knew about sexual misconduct allegations at Activision and Spencer reportedly told his employees at the time that he was “disturbed and deeply troubled by the horrific events and actions.”

'This Looks More Like Mockery'

In addition, Activision Blizzard said it could not reach an agreement with workers requesting recognition of a union formed by quality assurance testers at Raven Software.

Last week, 34 quality assurance workers seeking to unionize set a deadline of 6 pm Tuesday for a response from the software developer’s parent company and will now proceed to file for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

"If filed, the company will respond formally to that petition promptly," the company said. "The most important thing to the company is that each eligible employee has the opportunity to have their voice heard and their individual vote counted, and we think all employees at Raven should have a say in this decision."

If the union, dubbed the Game Workers Alliance, wins 50% plus one of the votes within the department, Activision Blizzard must begin bargaining with the group over work conditions in good faith.

Reaction to the new survival game on social media appeared to be less than enthusiastic. 

"The game takes place in the blizzard offices," one person tweeted. "You play as a female employee attempting to dodge male co workers inappropriate advances, the game ends when you get fired for complaining to HR."

"Please say this is multi-platform if it's not multi-platform," another said. "This looks more like mockery we Blizzard fans have waited years for new games from the company and you announce only now, now that you've had your soul bought with Microsoft's money?"

"Being an ow fan is a survival game," another person tweeted, referring to the game Overwatch.