Inside: Blizzard spent 6+ years developing a canceled survival game in the spirit of Rust and Minecraft

by alex

For the first time in many years, the Blizzard team decided to do something original, but somehow it didn’t work out in the end

Activision Blizzard recently carried out a cleanup. About 1,900 employees were laid off, and a certain survival from Blizzard was also given away – the project code-named Odyssey was cancelled.

Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier decided to reveal some details of Odyssey. It turns out that Blizzard spent more than 6 years on this project. It was supposed to be similar to Rust and Minecraft, but more polished.

Odyssey was supposed to be Blizzard's first major project in a long time for a new franchise. After the cancellation, it is not clear whether there will be similar projects in the future or whether they will remain in old franchises.

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The development of Odyssey did not go well due to technical problems, including those related to the engine used. The prototype was built on Unreal Engine, and then switched to Synapse (the internal engine), since the original one did not meet Blizzard's ambitions of supporting 100 people on a huge map. However, changing the engine was not a salvation, but only led to major technical problems.

Reviews of the early version of Odyssey were generally positive, but release was still years away. Blizzard was looking to expand the team in hopes of a possible launch in 2026 (but even that date seemed overly optimistic to some).

Odyssey was eventually cancelled; concluded that the Synapse engine is not ready for production.

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