Internal dev troubles supposedly, sad to see

From mmochampion

It appears as if people’s fear that Activision calls all the shots is more true than anyone would’ve dared hope.

Blizzard employees have reached out to Bellular to explain the situation:

A foreword in case you don’t know who Bellular is: This is not just some random youtuber. This is someone with a known reputation for having inside contacts at Blizzard or at the very least who is has close friendships with some of the WoW developers as shows from their interactions at Blizzcon. He has a long history of reliable journalism when it comes to Blizzard news.

Blizzard employees contacted him to state the following:

  • 8.3.5 and possibly other BFA content got axed because Activision told them to pack it up and start developing Shadowlands
  • Activision was behind the decision to have Blizzard lay off 800 employees last year
  • This loss of employees caused 8.3 to deliver with tons of bugs and much less content than we’re used to from a patch -despite- receiving 1-2 extra months development time
  • Shadowlands has less features than previous expansion because of WoW’s dev team lack of resources
  • WoW team is heavily understaffed, lacking resources, having to pull away from development time just to do extra bug fixing and quality assurance. Morale is super low.
  • Activision calls the shots on what content gets developed in WoW or not

Link to the video:

This pisses me off tbh. Just another company getting ruined by corporate money-grubbing culture.

PS: I’m actually fairly upset at this news. I trust Bellular as a reliable source who would not just make up having Blizzard employees reach out to him. If you have evidence to the contrary, please feel free to share it as I find the truth and being honest about this very important. I don’t want anyone to be deceived or misinformed.

Post-Thread update by Bellular:

Start of Video:

Bellular confirms the findings stated in the OP :

  • He confirms having internal sources, who told him about these things including knowing about the lay-offs at Blizzard long before they happened
  • He tried to be “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” about it, but now wishes to clarify he is protecting his anonymous sources
  • 8.3.5 being cancelled is a FACT , as that is obvious from plenty of content that has been datamined.
  • The WoW development team has their hands strapped by the higher-ups from Activision-Blizzard
  • Whether you believe him or not, that is up to you, but he has his reliable sources
  • “Accept reality and deal with it”. He has his principles, he might make videos with spicy titles, but his main priority is the truth and factual reporting

Edit 2:
Meanwhile, Preach is also coming out and confirming that his own Blizzard sources are acknowledging what was stated in the OP:

Furthermore, he’s reporting being “very afraid for the state of Shadowlands” - calling it: “BfA 2.0”, worried that Shadowlands might keep adhering to a lot of design philosophies of BfA, because there isn’t enough time foreseen for the developers to change up the game or systems much with a forced 2020 release.


Yeah, it has definitely seemed that way. I’d hope Blizz pulls a Bungie, but there’s nothing left of the original flame.

Sad to witness.


I remember reading that thread a few days ago, the overall consent was, that there is not enough evidence, that the information came from an actual blizzard employee. If that has changed it would be alarming…and absolute dumb from a business perspective. Sure, you are saving money now, but you risk losing a lot of money in the long run by alienating your playerbase.
I, who always preordered expacs, already did not preorder, because I lost a bit of confidence in blizzard with BfA. If Shadowlands alpha and beta show what you are suggesting, I won’t play anymore. They absolutely have to enthrall us with a superb Shadowlands if they want to let BfA be forgotten, much more than Legion did with WoD.

Not gonna happen unfortunately, as activision Blizzard are one company now. Bungie was not. And even if they were to be bought out or separated, it’d cost tens of billions of dollars, unless their stock tanks to the point where they’re virtually worthless. I wouldn’t mind if a Japanese company bought them out. At least if they screw up, they’ll be transparent about it.

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Short term profit never works. It’s not sustainable. They need to think long term. I’m shocked that as a businessman and CEO, Bobby Kotick doesn’t know that.


In Memory of WoW! Rest in Peace!


Hmm, then it’s quite probable that Shadowlands will become Suckerlands for us … judging by the info posted here.

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I meet leaks with a lot of suspicion, but I don’t think we need leaks to show us what Blizzard at least WANTS to do in Shadowlands.

It’s already been openly stated we’re continuing to farm some form of “power” as an additional leveling mechanic - Anima, and that collecting anima allows us to further empower covenant based abilities. This isn’t far at all from Essences and the need to increase the level of the Heart of Azeroth with further artifact power collection. Because Ion stated we’d need a certain amount to “keep the lights on”, I suspect the plan was going to have something similar to Coalescing Vision collection in the launch of 8.3 - initially the only really lucrative daily way of obtaining them was Lesser Visions, with the other dailies rewarding such a small amount as to be pointless to bother with outside of reputation. (They did buff these, but as I say, what they WANT to do isn’t necessarily what’s going to be well received enough to hold players.) With Corrupted gear, we’ve been handed yet another armor system that comes with a built in set back or that we need to carry around pending further empowerment at a later point that would allow us to use it. It’s as if they learned nothing from the response most players had to locked rings of traits on Azerite gear. And Horrific Visions and their gating likely gives us a glimpse of how Torghast and the crafting of Legendaries in Shadowlands is going to progress. We’ll get further and we’ll craft the items - eventually, on Blizzard’s timetable, like with how the legendary cloak now has a weekly cap on the maximum rank.

I do stress I believe 8.3 was a trial run of several Shadowlands design structuring, which does mean things could change. What’s worrisome is Blizzard hasn’t been good at making changes these past three expansions - the refrain has consistently been “by the time we got the feedback, we were too far along in development” or “we didn’t get actionable feedback in time”. And this pattern has been true throughout all of BfA - the only changes we’ve seen have been numeric tuning of various traits and the implementation of Essences, which were most likely always planned as Azerite traits (Blizzard always stated they planned for activated Azerite traits) that were moved from the helm/shoulder/chest to the Heart of Azeroth itself. Token band-aids on a gaping wound of design.

I hope I’m wrong, but we won’t know until information starts rolling out of Shadowlands alpha/beta.


Usually, these kinds of decisions are meant to add a line item to someone’s resume for their NEXT position. “Added 8% Y/Y to earnings while cutting cost 6% during that same time” plays well in an interview.

If you’re not a gamer (aka, you’re an investor) spending 500K to make 500k is more attractive than spending 6M to make 6.5M and spending 500k to make 510k is more attractive than spending 6M to make 6.25M.

It’s not “greed” exactly, it’s fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders to keep risks and costs manageable. IMHO, it doesn’t belong in video games, but there’s no getting it out at this point.

awesome so the janitor is in contact with him

I actually don’t consider him reliable at all because every time I watch a video of his, I find false or misleading information being presented. It is in his best interest to imply he has inside sources, more people watch him that way.

that quote is from the mmochampion poster, not me, including all edit and notes. My only contribution was “From mmochampion”

the poster said it came from both preach and bellular. i have no idea how accurate that would be but it would seem more reliable than you are making it out to be if two different guys who do have real access to internal devs are saying the same things

one thing is for sure, you don’t and you have no ability to refute most of it really except to say “i choose not to believe this”

it is just interesting commentary from people who potentially have more access than us

k - so if all that is a copy, paste from MMO champion why post it in the PTR section.

Seen this movie before.
When EA came in and started telling Westwood what to do.


More and more, I’m starting to think AAA gaming companies are becoming obsolete. They are so stuffed up their own asses with admins, useless management, bureaucracy, marketing departments, consumer psychologists, contractors, customer services departments (that are worse to deal with than an automated service would be), legal teams, fiduciary duties…

You are in a time where technology has empowered passionate private development teams from as tiny as 25 to as small as 100ish to put out games like Greedfall, Mount & Blade, Kingdom Come Deliverance… flawed games lacking some degree of polish, but no less than recent Blizzard titles and all of which are significantly better games. Platforms like Steam allow them to distribute to millions. You just don’t need 10000 people or whatever stupid amount Blizzard/Activision employ to make a great game, market it and sell it to the whole world.

Big gaming companies will just keep putting out games like BFA, Diablo Immortal, Warcraft 3 Reforged, Anthem, Fallout 76… etc. until even the most die-hard players finally can agree these companies are worthless and stop buying the garbage they put out that 20-50 passionate developers can run circles around.


There was a time where large publishers were needed. Not just for games, but music, movies, etc…

While it is always a risk to sacrifice developmental integrity for the sake of a publisher (and the support they provide), it has gotten easier for indie studios to put out their work with very little interference, with the likes of crowdfunding, digital markets, online streaming and social media.

I do look forward to a day, where publishers, such as Activision and EA are recognised as being completely irrelevant.

Hopefully soon :purple_heart:


Thanks to stock exchange and human greed this day will never come.