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

A new Malevento map for Overwatch
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Earlier this week, the state of California filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard for fostering a "frat boy" culture 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 (via Eurogamer), 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 on poor communication, cut costs, and pressure from corporate to ship the game prematurely.

Natalie Clayton

A one-time dog sledder, pancake flipper, alien wrangler and indie darling, Nat now scours the internet looking for the hottest PC gaming news. Destined to become Scotland's first Battlemech pilot.