The departures of leading game developers and creators continues for Activision Blizzard Inc (NASDAQ: ATVI). The latest departure could impact one of the company’s highest anticipated games.
What Happened: Overwatch Executive Producer Chacko Sonny is leaving Blizzard Entertainment. He was the development head on the highly anticipated “Overwatch 2” sequel.
“Chacko Sonny is leaving Blizzard to take some time off after 5 years of service,” the company said in a statement to Polygon.
Why It’s Important: Sonny's departure adds to a long list of people who have left the company:
Jeff Kaplan, the director of “Overwatch” left the company in April.
“Diablo 4” saw its game director Luis Barriga and lead designer Jess McCree let go by the company.
“World of Warcraft” designer Jonathan LeCraft was also let go by the company.
Blizzard president J. Allen Brack left the company recently.
The departures and firings come as the company was accused of a hostile work environment and sexual harassment. The accusations led to a high-profile walkout by Activision Blizzard employees.
The controversy surrounding Activision Blizzard has also led to sponsors pulling support for the company’s esports events.
On Tuesday, it was announced the SEC is investigating Activision Blizzard over discrimination allegations from employees.
Related Link: Activision Announces New Co-Leaders Of Blizzard
What’s Next: The departure of another person on the Overwatch team could have gamers and investors concerned about the sequel to the hit game.
“The deep, talented Overwatch team is making excellent progress on Overwatch 2 and thanks to their hard work, the game is in the final stage of production,” the company said in a statement.
Activision Blizzard said it will share more details on the progress of “Overwatch 2” at the Overwatch League Grand Finals, which are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 25.
“Overwatch 2” doesn't have a release date yet but many industry experts have pointed to the second quarter of 2022.
“Overwatch” was released in 2016 and hit $1 billion in revenue in 2017. The game hit the 50 million players milestone in 2019 and became a staple in the esports market.
ATVI Price Action: Shares have fallen over the last two trading sessions and are trading near the bottom of their 52-week range of $71.19 to $104.53.
Photo: Screenshot from "Overwatch."
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