After a long 14 years acting as Blizzard’s president and 27 years total at the company, Mike Morhaime has officially stepped down, effective immediately. This is shock news to most of us but in our opinion a welcomed change, though we will miss his legendary World of Warcraft shirts at BlizzCon.
Mike Morhaime will be replaced by none other than World of Warcraft executive producer J. Allen Brack. J.Allen deserves it, World of Warcraft is arguably the best game ever made – let’s hope he can replicate the WoW success in other games moving forward.
Mike announced the news on the official Blizzard blog where he said:
“After many years of working with some of the industry’s most talented people to create games and worlds for you to play in, I’ve decided it’s time for someone else to lead Blizzard Entertainment. I will now serve as an advisor to the company I so love and admire. My duties as president of Blizzard will be assumed by my friend, colleague, trusted advisor, and longtime steward of World of Warcraft, J. Allen Brack.”
“J. is an inspiring leader who has shown unwavering commitment to Blizzard’s community in his 12 years with the company. His leadership on World of Warcraft leveraged his vision, creativity, and commitment to quality, and together with the rest of the dev team helped deliver an experience that is unprecedented in our industry. I couldn’t be happier for J. and know that Blizzard will continue to make great games with him at the helm.”
“I am grateful to all of the hardworking and talented people at Blizzard for their dedication and creativity. Their belief in our mission and care for our players has helped Blizzard reach greater heights than I ever could have imagined.”
(more on the official blog)
The inspiring message by Mike was followed by an equally and exciting message by J. Allen:
“Today has been a swirl of emotions. First, I feel a deep sense of gratitude to Mike. His work on some of our industry’s most iconic games is the reason I came to Blizzard. Not only is he an inspiring leader, but he’s also been a wise and patient mentor to me during my time at Blizzard. And he’s been a good friend. Joining the World of Warcraft team and my favorite game company nearly 13 years ago was an unimaginable dream. Now, to be chosen to lead Blizzard into the future is both a huge honor, and a tremendous responsibility.”
“To do that, I’ll have the help of dedicated and talented Blizzard employees around the world who all share the same mission we have always pursued—to connect and engage the world through the most epic entertainment experiences, ever. Each of us is influenced by Blizzard’s values and a player-first mindset, which serve as the foundation of our company. With these beliefs at the core of everything we do, we’ve been able to deliver great games across different genres and platforms. And there is more to come—we’re working on more games now than at any point in Blizzard’s history.”
“One thing that won’t change going forward—our deeply held commitments that are core to who we are as a company: to gameplay first, to quality in everything we do, and to listening to and partnering with our community. BlizzCon, the IRL representation of our connection with the community, is just a month away and it’s a time of the year that Blizzard employees look forward to the most. And as usual, we have a few surprises.”
(more on the official blog)
J. Allen’s message also said that he will “oversee development of several new games” as well as the snippet in the quote above where he mentions “we’re working on more games now than at any point in Blizzard’s history”, does this mean that we’ll be seeing a new game or two announced at BlizzCon? We sure hope so, in our opinion Blizzard have been a bit ‘slack’ in recent months and arguably the past year, releasing only small updates, patches, cosmetic items and recycling the same in-game events i.e. Overwatch’s summer games.
Anyhow, this announcement has made us uber excited for BlizzCon – maybe the £35 virtual ticket will be worth it after all.