Overwatch 2 devs lose bonus pay after Blizzard policy change

The rocky performance of Overwatch 2 is hitting its developers financially. A new Bloomberg report claims Blizzard staff who worked on the hero shooter won’t receive any bonus compensation.

Developers often get bonus pay depending on a game’s critical or commercial performance, and Blizzard is no exception. Last summer, a new policy change made it so payouts were now tied to a franchise’s overall performance.

Ex-Blizzard presidents J. Allen Brack and Mike Morhaime reportedly spent a decade calling for everyone to be fairly compensated. Conversely, then-Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick aruged those behind the most “lucrative” games should be rewarded the most.

The teams for Diablo IV and World of Warcraft were well-compensated, given how well those two games did in 2023. But Overwatch 2 has openly struggled since its October 2022 launch, resulting in zero bonus payout.

In August, Activision Blizzard said it’d cover some of the Overwatch bonuses, despite allegedly telling the team they shouldn’t have received anything. Bloomberg noted it’s “rare” for anyone at Blizzard to not get some kind of profit-sharing bonus.

According to Bloomberg, new Blizzard president Johanna Fairies is “looking into” the profit-sharing plans, along with other unpopular work policies. However, it sounds like she’s made no decisions about whether those policies will stay in place or just be revised.

Overwatch 2 keeps getting hit from all sides

The recent confirmation that its PvE mode is fully dead doesn’t seem to help matters.

Earlier this week, a Kotaku report claimed the component was in jeopardy owing to a lack of executive faith. As it is, the Story Missions mode will only have one three-mission set to its name.

The outlet’s report claims more missions were supposed to come out on an 18-month cadence. The remaining missions were also in various states of completion, with some fully playable.

Members reportedly had ideas for how to improve the divisive mode, but leadership didn’t see it as a priority. Much of the PvE team was laid off in January.

A Blizzard spokesperson told Bloomberg the Overwatch team is “focusing on the foundational team-based experience, building the game alongside our players, and more quickly addressing their feedback.”

PvP is the focus of Overwatch 2 going forward, for better and worse.

Bloomberg’s full write-up on Blizzard’s financial situation and Overwatch 2 can be read here.

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