Activision Buys Game Studio Proletariat To Expand ‘World of Warcraft’ Staff

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Xbox\u2019s various game developers it now owns: Activision, Blizzard and King.
Courtesy of Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard intends to acquire Proletariat, a Boston-based game studio that developed the wizard-themed battle royale game “Spellbreak.”

VentureBeat first reported that the Santa Monica-based publisher was exploring a purchase, noting its ongoing mission to expand the staff working on Blizzard’s hit massively multiplayer online game “World of Warcraft,” which launched in 2004.

Proletariat’s team of roughly 100 people will be merged into Activision’s “World of Warcraft” team to work on its upcoming expansion game. Though there’s no release date as yet for the title, “World of Warcraft: Dragonflight” is expected to debut before the end of this year.

Activision did not immediately return a request for comment. Financial terms of the deal were not available.

This Proletariat deal is Activision's latest push to consolidate its family tree by folding its subsidiary companies in under the Blizzard banner. More than 15 years after it bought out New York-based game developer Vicarious Visions, Activision merged the business into its own last year, ensuring that the studio wouldn’t work on anything but Blizzard titles.

The deal could also have implications for workers at Activision who have looked to unionize. One subsidiary of Activision, Wisconsin-based Raven Software, cast a majority vote to establish its Game Workers Alliance—backed by the nationwide Communications Workers of America union—in May.

Until recently, Activision has remained largely anti-union in the face of its employees organizing—but it could soon not have much of a say in the matter once it finalizes its $69 billion sale to Microsoft, which said publicly it would maintain a “neutral approach” and wouldn’t stand in the way if more employees at Activision expressed interest in unionizing after the deal closes.

Each individual studio under the Activision umbrella would need to have a majority vote in favor of unionizing to join the GWA. Now, Proletariat’s workforce—which, somewhat ironically given its name, isn’t unionized—is another that could make such a decision leading up to the Microsoft deal’s expected closing in 2023.

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'The Writing's on the Wall': Electric Batteries' Rapid Progress May Have Just Doomed Natural Gas Trucks

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

'The Writing's on the Wall': Electric Batteries' Rapid Progress May Have Just Doomed Natural Gas Trucks
Image from Tesla

Last month, when dot.LA toured the Hexagon Purus facility in Ontario, California, multiple employees bemoaned the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) ruling on renewable natural gas (RNG) as a hindrance to decarbonizing trucking-haul trucking. They argued that keeping RNG classified as a “near-zero emission” fuel prevented companies using financial incentives like the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project, which, as the name suggests, is only available to true zero-emission trucks. The effect, they said, was that the agency was missing an opportunity to accelerate the state’s transition away from diesel.

But over the weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce that the EV company’s battery powered class 8 semi-truck had completed a 500-mile trip fully loaded (to the tune of 81,000 lbs). It now appears CARB’s refusal to classify renewable natural gas (RNG) as a zero-emission fuel source was ultimately the right decision.

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Hoopla’s Deron Quon on Keeping Perspective as a Founder

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
Hoopla’s Deron Quon
Image courtesy of Deron Quon.

On this episode of the L.A. Venture podcast, serial founder and angel investor Deron Quon discusses the human side of entrepreneurship and how a founder’s ethos can impact company culture.

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