The discouraging release of Warcraft 3 Reforged was the result of budget cuts, mismanagement and internal disputes, a report recently published by Bloomberg has found.
Released last February, Reforged arrived in a shocking state. Not only did the remake miss many of the game's big, planned art and voice-over updates, but it retroactively ruined the original 2002 Warcraft 3, replacing its online service with one it didn't have. basic functions, such as competitive scales.
In the new report, sources write that Warcraft 3 suffered from constant cases of poor communication and financial pressures. Planned improvements were canceled as the game was terminated. Arguments erupted over the style and artistic scope of the game. Blizzard Classic Games team leader Rob Bridenbecker was accused of having an "aggressive management style" as well as traveling frequently abroad during production.
"We have developers who have been dealing with exhaustion, anxiety, depression and more for the past year," the developers wrote in an internal post-mortem obtained by Bloomberg. "Many have lost confidence in the team and this company. Many players have also lost confidence, and the release certainly didn't help an already difficult year for Blizzard's image."
Reforged also faced pressure from business owners Activision, who did not prioritize an RTS setback with little hope of becoming a box office success. Massive layoffs across the company in 2019 did not help, and with the opening of orders before the game was completed, the team had to "constantly resist the need to ship an unfinished product to due to financial pressure ".
“We placed advance orders when we knew the game wasn’t ready yet,” one post-mortem writer explained.
The report goes further on how Blizzard largely criticized the Classic Games team and how Blizzard's management was "out of touch" with the project until the end of development. But the report ultimately blames Activision's growing influence on Blizzard after the merger, pushing the developer to focus only on its multi-million dollar stable game like World of Warcraft and Overwatch.
This report comes in light of a lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which accused the publisher of a “fraternity workplace culture” that saw women demonstrably paying less than their male colleagues and subjected them to sexual harassment. "