Overwatch may have pulled planned map reveal amid this week's abuse allegations

A new Malevento map for Overwatch
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)
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Earlier this week, the state of California filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard for fostering a "frat boy" culture (opens in new tab) of discrimination, harassment, and gendered pay gaps. While the publisher denies the allegations, it has recognised that now may not be the best time to build up excitement for a new Overwatch map.

According to a now-archived article by Dexerto (opens in new tab) (via Eurogamer (opens in new tab)), Blizzard planned to announce a new deathmatch map Malevento in a surprise PTR update yesterday. Described as one of the most vibrant maps in the game, the small Italian town would harbour a secret Talon base, and was set to arrive in the game proper on August 17.

With the story never going live and Blizzard currently on radio silence across all social media accounts, there's no official word on why the announcement was pulled. It's extremely likely, however, that the team decided that very few people are ready to be excited for new Blizzard content—not after the revelation that the studio's culture of sexual abuse and harassment was so vile it reportedly drove one female employee to suicide.

Claims of mismanagement were supported by a follow-up report that pinned Warcraft 3: Reforged's infamously botched launch (opens in new tab) on poor communication, cut costs, and pressure from corporate to ship the game prematurely.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.