The news was announced on Tuesday during the company’s third quarter earnings call.
While Blizzard said in February that both Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 would not launch until at least 2022, Activision Blizzard chief operating officer Daniel Alegre said today that the publisher had previously expected to release the games next year.
“As we have worked with new leadership in Blizzard and within the franchises themselves, particularly in certain key creative roles, it has become apparent that some of the Blizzard content planned for next year will benefit from more development time to reach its full potential,” he said.
“While we are still planning to deliver a substantial amount of content from Blizzard next year, we are now planning for a later launch for Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV than originally envisaged.
“These are two of the most eagerly anticipated titles in the industry and our teams have made great strides towards completion in recent quarters,” he continued.
“But we believe giving the teams some extra time to complete production and continue growing their creative resources to support the titles after launch will ensure that these releases delight and engage their communities for many years into the future.
“These decisions will push out the financial uplift we expected to see next year, but we are confident that this is the right course of action for our people, our players and the long-term success of our franchises.”
While release dates for the titles have never been announced, Activision Blizzard‘s chief financial officer Armin Zerza reiterated on Tuesday that the company had previously been planning to benefit from launching the games in 2022.
“We are therefore currently not planning for material contribution from Overwatch 2 or Diablo 4 in 2022,” he said.
“While this development will push out the financial uplift that we had been expecting to see next year, we firmly believe that this is the right course of action for our people, for the long-term success of these franchises and for our shareholders.
“We still have a lot of content in the pipeline for next year for our largest franchises that we can’t wait to unveil,” Zerza added.
The publisher also confirmed today that Blizzard’s co-leader Jen Oneal is stepping down from the role just three months after being appointed.
The former Vicarious Visions boss, who was announced as Blizzard’s co-leader alongside former Xbox exec Mike Ybarra in August, is said to be leaving the company to focus on bringing more diversity to the games industry.