Project Odyssey has been cancelled (Picture: Blizzard)
Although Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard was bound to lead to layoffs, the sheer scale of them has been staggering, with almost 9% of the total Xbox workforce losing their job, totalling 1,900 people.
Amongst those is Blizzard president Mike Ybarra and chief design officer Allen Adham, as well as former Far Cry boss Dan Hay, who was heading up a new survival game at Blizzard codenamed (or perhaps actually named) Odyssey.
As a result, that entire project has now been cancelled, although it’s unclear how far along it had got – with some rumours suggesting work had only just begun and others that it has been underway for several years.
‘As many of you know, Mike previously spent more than 20 years at Microsoft. Now that he has seen the acquisition through as Blizzard’s president, he has decided to leave the company,’ says an internal memo from Xbox studios president Matt Booty, obtained by The Verge.
According to Booty, a new president will be announced next week and Microsoft will be ‘shifting some of the people working on [Odyssey] to one of several promising new projects Blizzard has in the early stages of development.’
No explanation has been given for why Odyssey has been cancelled, or what the other projects might be – or why they have taken precedence.
Despite not having a name, Odyssey was officially announced last January, via what was effectively a job listing, and was described as being set in a ‘new universe’.
Judging by the concept art, it seemed to involve modern day people in a high fantasy world, with the armour made out of animal parts implying something similar to Monster Hunter.
We may never find out now, although given the number of people that have been laid off today some are sure to reveal exactly what the game was intended to be.
Unfortunately, these jobs didn’t last very long (Picture: Blizzard)
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