Developers at Activision Blizzard behind the now-notorious Warcraft III: Reforged have spoken out about their treatment, and the “mismanagement” that led to the game’s disappointing launch.
On July 21, treatment of their female staff at Activision Blizzard revealed in a lawsuit send a shockwave through the industry. Adding to this, the publisher has come under fire from the Classic Games team, who worked on the incredibly unsuccessful Warcraft III: Reforged.
The developers received a wealth of backlash for the WoW-based title, with players left feeling as though the game was completely unfinished. Missing key features and plagued by unstable servers, the title had fans wishing that the 2003 version had been released instead.
The result of a chaotic development process, Warcraft III is a stain on Blizzard’s track record, but recent statements from the dev team imply that a lack of support was the reason the game fell flat.
Warcraft III Reforged devs slam Activision Blizzard
Despite Blizzard acknowledging that “we took pre-orders when we knew the game wasn’t ready yet,” the blame was largely placed on the Classic Games team, who were dismantled eight months after the game’s release.
In an interview with Bloomberg, it has been revealed that the team simply couldn’t cope with the level of production expected. “We have developers who have dealt with exhaustion, anxiety, depression and more for a year now,” the team revealed. “Many have lost trust in the team and this company.”
In addition to the swift decline in morale, the Classic Games team was often made up of castoffs from other Blizzard departments. This, combined with a mass staff layoff, meant the project was “missing and/or had the wrong people in certain lead roles.”
Former Warcraft III dev David Fried, who returned to work on Reforged, blamed the game’s abysmal performance on Activision. “I am deeply disappointed that Activision would actively work against the interests of all players in the manner that they did.”
Activision Blizzard did not respond to comment on the report.
The publisher has already addressed the lawsuit that was mentioned before, writing “we are confident in our ability to demonstrate our practices as an equal opportunity employer that fosters a supportive, diverse, and inclusive workplace for our people, and we are committed to continuing this effort in the years to come.”