Phil Spencer, the CEO of Microsoft Gaming, made a grand entrance at BlizzCon 2023, declaring that the future of Blizzard is brighter than ever. While the ink is still fresh on the Xbox acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the details of this groundbreaking collaboration are yet to be fully unveiled. Nevertheless, key developers at Blizzard are exuberant about the endless prospects this partnership holds.
During BlizzCon 2023, I had the opportunity to speak with Jared Neuss, the executive producer of Overwatch 2. He expressed his enthusiasm for working alongside the talented teams at Xbox Game Studios. Neuss highlighted Microsoft’s treasure trove of internal first-person shooter (FPS) expertise, from the revered Halo teams at 343 Industries to the innovative minds behind the Wolfenstein and Doom franchises at MachineGames and id Software. Undoubtedly, this synergy positions Overwatch 2 in an optimal environment as it aims to recover from a divisive launch.
Neuss, tracing his own FPS background on games like Halo 5: Guardians and Destiny 2, emphasized the prospects of collaboration with the wider Xbox family. The ability to tap into the collective experience and knowledge of individuals who have explored various approaches and gained invaluable insights is an avenue that he personally finds thrilling. Neuss stated, “As a person who worked on Halo at Microsoft, one of my favorite things is how the experience that I and other members of the team are able to bring to our development process on Overwatch 2. And being able to tap into even more people who have experience in this space, who have tried different things and have learned different lessons, is something I’m personally very excited about.”
Nurturing New Ideas
While Neuss refrained from divulging specific details regarding the nature of these collaborations, he did offer glimpses into how the Overwatch 2 team can refine and expand their concepts, as well as contribute to the growth of other Xbox teams. This exchange of ideas and expertise can fuel innovation and push the boundaries of gaming experiences for players worldwide.
The Microsoft Gaming acquisition of Activision Blizzard marks the beginning of an extraordinary new chapter for both companies. The immense potential that lies within this collaboration is bound to redefine the landscape of the gaming industry. As Blizzard’s future unfolds under the wing of Microsoft Gaming, gamers around the globe can eagerly anticipate groundbreaking developments and unforgettable adventures that await them.