More bad news is coming to Activision Blizzard according to a report from Richard Lewis. The article claims that several “high profile and experienced staff” are making their way out of the company in the next few weeks.
This starts the official trend as Nate Nanzer, the Overwatch League’s Commissioner revealed his departure just a week ago. This brought lots of speculation into what exactly was happening behind the scenes for the company. Some simply chalked it up to a better offer, however, as Nanzer left to join Epic Games, heading up their esports division over Fortnite Battle Royale and the recently acquired title Rocket League.
The report cites one source as stating “People are really getting tired of working for Pete Vlastelica. The focus has become commercializing the esports titles instead of making good programs for the community. Many people internally are laying that on Pete, and it has crushed morale among the Call of Duty and Overwatch teams especially.”
This certainly makes sense given Vlastelica’s background in traditional sports & media. Vlastelica joined up with Activision Blizzard in 2016, leaving FOX Sports.
Another source claimed “Right now, there’s a feeling that a lot of the senior management just don’t understand esports.” The same source went on to explain that simply bringing this thought forward wasn’t really an option. “There is no room for negotiating with these people. They are convinced their vision, which is more in line with televised sports, is the right way to go and it has just made people miserable.”
While the show will most likely go on at least for the time being, it seems there needs to be some sort of change in the culture around the Overwatch League sometime before it’s too late and the once promising ship begins to take on more water than it can handle.