Blizzard Entertainment has acquired Boston-based Proletariat, the studio behind the magic-heavy Battle Royale game Spellbreak. Spellbreak will shut down by early 2023 as the workers at the 100-person studio transition to work on World of Warcraft and its upcoming “Dragonflight” expansion.
VentureBeat reports that Proletariat and Blizzard have been in acquisition talks since last December and that the companies have been working together since last month. That’s well before yesterday’s public announcement that the studio would be ending development on Spellbreak after more than four years:
Our vision was to create a fresh, multiplayer action-spellcasting game with exceptional movement and class customization that would give players the chance to unleash their inner battlemage. We are grateful to everyone in the game’s community for exploring the magical worlds and experiences we created together. Spellbreak was an ambitious project that saw our team push new boundaries in design and development and we are excited to continue to innovate as we create new titles in the future.
After an impressive beta in early 2020, Proletariat bragged that it had over 5 million Spellbreak players in the weeks after the game’s late 2020 launch. That player base seems to have declined substantially over time, though; data from SteamDB shows Spellbreak‘s concurrent player numbers on Steam sitting at well under a thousand and consistently declining over the last 12 months (though those numbers don’t reflect players on consoles or the Epic Games Store, where the game had PC exclusivity for a year).