Developer Blizzard would have known that Warcraft III: Reforged did not live up to what the company had promised, but did not want to delay the game because of the preorders for the remake. Blizzard would have been afraid that customers would ask for their money back.
The developer would also be afraid that customers would no longer buy the remake, writes Bloomberg based on internal documents and conversations with anonymous Blizzard employees. Developers within Blizzard say the company was taking preorders for the game even though they knew the game wasn’t ready for release. These developers would also have indicated before release that Blizzard had to resist the “urge to publish an unfinished game due to financial pressure”.
The internal document, in which Blizzard analyzes the development and release of Warcraft III: Reforged, also shows that the development of the remake was plagued by small budgets, unclear vision and mismanagement, according to Bloomberg. For example, the Classic Games team working on the remake was not given enough budget to hire enough developers. Blizzard would rather give money to teams working on big titles like Diablo IV and Overwatch 2. Eight months after the release of Warcraft III: Reforged, the Classic Games team was shut down.
In addition, the boss of Classic Games is said to be an “aggressive manager”, often giving unrealistic deadlines and taking trips abroad. Under his leadership, there was a lot of miscommunication within the team, writes Bloomberg, and there were arguments about the scope and style of the game. In the document, developers talk about exhaustion, anxiety, depression ‘and more’. Employees had to work evenings and weekends several times. Due to these problems, more and more planned features were canceled in order to finish the game on time.
Warcraft III: Reforged was released January last year and had many bugs. Then players also found out that promised improvements, such as new cutscenes, had not been included. The ladder system for ranking competitive players that was in the original game was removed from the remake. Blizzard announced soon after release that buyers could get their money back.
A Blizzard spokesperson tells Bloomberg that the publisher should have waited to release the game until it was actually ready. The spokesperson went on to say that there is now a new team working on updates to Warcraft III: Reforged and that it has made improvements within the company’s development processes. Earlier this week, claims appeared that a “frat boy culture” would prevail within Blizzard with a lot of sexual harassment.