Blizzard acquires studio behind fantasy battle royale Spellbreak

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Blizzard Entertainment has acquired its first studio in more than 15 years. In a report from VentureBeat, the company has acquired the Boston-based studio Proletariat. As a result, Proletariat’s Spellbreak, a battle royale in which you fling spells at your enemies instead of bullets, will shut down.

“After more than four years of elemental magic and spell combinations, we’ve made the decision to end development of Spellbreak,” the company wrote on its website. “The servers will be shut down as of early 2023.”

Proletariat was founded in 2012 and launched its first game, World Zombination, on mobile in 2015. In addition to developing traditional games, Proletariat also worked on creating Twitch-integrated games that allowed viewers to interact and play with their favorite streamers. Spellbreak, launched in 2020, was Proletariat’s attempt to break into the already crowded arena of “what if Fortnite, but —.” Though the game presented an interesting spin on the battle royale model, Seth Sivak, CEO of Proletariat, revealed in a Reddit post accompanying the announcement of the game’s pending shutdown that Spellbreak’s novelty did not translate to financial success.

Spellbreak was not able to break through and reach a sustainable place where we could continue to invest in it in the way we had dreamed of,” Sivak wrote.

Proletariat enters the Blizzard family as the company itself is in the middle of a pending acquisition by Microsoft, expected to conclude sometime next year. According to VentureBeat, Proletariat’s staff will transition to the World of Warcraft team as Blizzard ramps up production on the Dragonflight expansion, and the two studios have been working together since May.

The Verge reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment but has not yet heard back.

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