Working from home for Activision Blizzard’s Diablo team has been quite an ordeal. At least according to producer Rod Fergusson, whom you may remember as the guy who worked at Epic Games and The Coalition on Gears of War titles.
Despite all this, the work on upcoming action RPG Diablo IV is “going very well” with “little productivity being lost”.
Blizzard has taken steps to minimize the disruption by enabling employees to take their equipment and PCs home, providing “allowances” to cover things like internet expenses, ensuring sufficient downtime and breaks, and even sending out “snack boxes” to employees.
“I had a full eight days in office. I started on a Tuesday and then the following Thursday, everybody was on work from home. “
“It’s been really hard actually, for me, because I think people who know me and have worked with me know that part of what I thrive on and do well in is [being] in the room with people, and talking, and trying to motivate and understand, and collaborating and those sorts of things. The push, kind of taking one of my sort of quote-unquote ‘superpowers’ and putting it behind a video screen, I found really hard.”
All that is paying off. “he fact that you see Hearthstone has shipped two expansions, and WoW is about to ship an expansion. And we on Diablo continue to—it’s been challenging, but the team is just moving forward. So I’ve been really grateful—if I was going to do it, to be able to do it with Blizzard.”
Guess we’ll have to wait until digital BlizzCon 2021 to hear more news about the game. This still isn’t letting Activision-Blizzard off for the wage discrepancy issue though.