It has been claimed in a report published in Bloomberg that Blizzard’s ill-fated survival game, which was codenamed ‘Odyssey’ was cancelled because of ‘development hell’ focused on the game’s engine – Synapse. This internally built engine at Blizzard was originally designed to be used for mobile game development, and while developers intended to use Unreal Engine to build Odyssey, senior stakeholders instructed them to pivot to Synapse to support their desires.
It has been reported that this led to the ultimate cancellation of Odyssey, following ongoing struggles and a final decision that Synapse simply ‘was not ready for production’.
Today, more than 1,900 employees were scheduled to be laid off across Activision Blizzard, Xbox, and ZeniMax. It was a monumental blow to the industry that has suffered so much in the last year or so, and it brought the tally of developers laid off in 2024 to more than 5,000 – and it’s still January.
Amid the news that so many people would be made redundant, it was also revealed that Odyssey – Blizzard’s survival game that was teased in 2022 – had been cancelled. Those working on the game that hadn’t been laid off have reportedly been moved to other projects.
In the report published by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, it was stressed that Odyssey had existed – at least as a concept – since 2017. It was to be an ambitious open-world survival title that supported servers with 100-player capacities. There was a team of around 100 people working on Odyssey, but it was never enough. Recently, a melting pot of technical issues, engine-based struggles, stakeholder unease, and a release window that was being pushed ever further back brought about the end of Odyssey before it could be officially revealed.
For many, it’s a devastating move, especially as survival games are experiencing a monumental boom right now. Not that it matters – it was referenced in Bloomberg’s report that a launch window of 2026 for Odyssey was seen as being ‘overly optimistic’.
For more Flizzyy coverage, check out the news about Apple’s changes to the app store