Blizzard’s Survival Game Was Cancelled Because of Engine Issues

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Blizzard’s Survival Game ‘Odyssey’: Cancelled Due to Engine Issues, Leading to Massive Layoffs

According to a report published by Bloomberg, Blizzard’s survival game project, codenamed ‘Odyssey,’ was cancelled due to challenges faced during the development process, specifically related to the in-house engine, Synapse. Originally designed for mobile game development, senior stakeholders at Blizzard instructed developers to use Synapse instead of Unreal Engine to build Odyssey.

Struggles with Synapse Result in Cancellation

This pivot to Synapse reportedly led to numerous challenges, eventually contributing to the cancellation of Odyssey. Despite the team’s efforts, it was determined that Synapse ‘was not ready for production,’ leading to its demise.

Layoffs Affecting Thousands in the Gaming Industry

In other news, over 1,900 employees were scheduled to be laid off across Activision Blizzard, Xbox, and ZeniMax. This comes as a significant blow to the industry, which has already seen over 5,000 developers laid off in 2024 – and it’s only January.

Cancellation of ‘Odyssey’: A Disappointment Amid Survival Game Boom

As part of these layoffs, it was also revealed that Odyssey – Blizzard’s ambitious open-world survival title with 100-player server capacity – had been cancelled. Those team members not affected by the layoffs have reportedly been reassigned to other projects.

A Timeline of Struggles: ‘Odyssey’ Concept Emerged in 2017

First conceptualized in 2017, Odyssey had a team of around 100 people working on it. However, technical issues, engine-based challenges, stakeholder concerns, and ever-receding release windows ultimately led to its cancellation before an official announcement could be made.

Despite the Hype, a 2026 Launch Seemed ‘Overly Optimistic’

For many, this cancellation is especially disappointing given the current popularity of survival games. Unfortunately, even a predicted launch window of 2026 for Odyssey was seen as ‘overly optimistic’ in the report.

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