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News video games 30 January 2024, 09:25

author: Jacob Blazewicz

Layoffs at WoW Developer to Affect Story Teams

Microsoft's layoffs have not spared Blizzard. Among the employees laid off are those responsible for the plot and story of World of Warcraft and Overwatch.

Source: Blizzard Entertainment / Microsoft.

Microsoft's massive layoffs unpleasantly surprised Activision Blizzard fans. The team responsible for the narrative and background story of the Warcraft franchise is also severely damaged, as reported by, among others, Azeroth "historians" leader Sean Copeland on LinkedIN (via Reddit).

Late last week, Copeland announced that two people had left the team: Courtney Chavez and Madi Buckingham. Apparently, these were not the first layoffs -- already at the end of last year, Blizzard was more "quietly" reducing the number of employees. One of them was one of the WoW "historians" who answered Internet users' questions on Reddit.

Of course, there were people who commented with satisfaction on the firing of those responsible for unpopular plot twists in World of Warcraft in recent years (Steve Danuser not included). The only thing is that "historians" are not responsible for the scripts -- it's a unit separate from the narrative team, as one of the former Blizzard employees explained. As he stated, it's more of a "quality control department" that checks the actions of people creating the history of Azeroth (although, as it happens with "QA", their comments are not always taken into account).

However, the narrative department was also said to be affected by significant layoffs, although we have no confirmed information on this matter (via X). We also know that a large part of the team responsible for the plot of the Overwatch series, including chief narrative designer Gabin Jurgen-Fyhrie, have left Blizzard Entertainment.

It should also be noted that the team of "historians" was never very large. According to a former employee, after recent layoffs, the "Lore Team" is actually just two people. Perhaps they will rely on AI or fan-made knowledge bases about Azeroth, but neither of them seem particularly competent when it comes to the background story.

Jacob Blazewicz

Jacob Blazewicz

Graduated with a master's degree in Polish Studies from the University of Warsaw with a thesis dedicated to this very subject. Started his adventure with in 2015, writing in the Newsroom and later also in the film and technology sections (also contributed to the Encyclopedia). Interested in video games (and not only video games) for years. He began with platform games and, to this day, remains a big fan of them (including Metroidvania). Also shows interest in card games (including paper), fighting games, soulslikes, and basically everything about games as such. Marvels at pixelated characters from games dating back to the time of the Game Boy (if not older).