BLIZZARD Co-Founder MIKE MORHAIME Steps Down!

BLIZZARD Co-Founder MIKE MORHAIME Steps Down!

October 4, 2018 0 By Jay "Mouse" Vales

Blizzard Entertainment has been at the forefront of video game quality for over 25 years. Founded in 1991 as Silicone & Synapse, founders Michael Morhaime, Allen Adham, and Frank Pearce probably didn’t realize the impact their influence would make on the video game universe.

Fast forward 13 years  to 2004 and Blizzard had already pocketed 10 Game-Of-The-Year awards for their franchise games Starcraft, Warcraft, and Diablo. At this point, a typical game company could just ride on their success and ride into game development heaven, but their release of World of Warcraft that year would launch them into worldwide household status.

Fast forward another 14 years to now and Blizzard’s riding high with easy-to-play-hard-to-master games like Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone while keeping up with their main franchises. World of Warcraft has just released its 7th Expansion, Battle for Azeroth, and it doesn’t look like the World of Warcraft gravy train is slowing down any time soon.

LAS VEGAS – FEBRUARY 07: Michael Morhaime, president of Blizzard Entertainment, is inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame during the AIAS’ 11th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards at the Red Rock Casino February 7, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The awards honor people and products in the video game industry. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences)

At the heart of this is Mike Morhaime, a Southern California native has been running the show for 27 years. According to Business Wire, Morhaime has announced his departure as CEO and will be replaced by current World of Warcraft Executive Producer J. Allen Brack. Morhaime will still be involved as a Strategic Advisor, but his duties as the head of Blizzard Entertainment have come to a sad end. The company also announced the appointments of Chief Development Officer Ray Gresko and Blizzard Founder Allen Adham to Blizzard’s executive leadership team.

We will never forget your influence on the industry, Mike.

 

From Business Wire: 

About J. Allen Brack

J. Allen Brack is a seasoned game industry veteran bringing nearly 24 years’ experience to this new role. As president of Blizzard Entertainment, Brack is dedicated to maintaining the high standard of quality that has propelled Blizzard to become an internationally recognized leader in interactive entertainment. Most recently, Brack served as executive producer and senior vice president for World of Warcraft, the #1 subscription-based MMORPG in the world. Throughout his twelve years at Blizzard, World of Warcraft has captivated millions of players worldwide and received a steady stream of high-quality content updates, including multiple expansions that rank among the fastest-selling PC games of all time. Prior to joining Blizzard, Brack held multiple roles at Origin Systems, Inc., working on the Wing Commander franchise, and then at Sony Online Entertainment LLC working on Star Wars Galaxies.

About Ray Gresko

As chief development officer, Ray Gresko will oversee ongoing product development efforts across Blizzard’s iconic franchises, to ensure that the company delivers a consistent high-quality experience across its games. Gresko, a 26-year industry veteran, most recently held the role of executive producer for Overwatch, leading the development team through the creation of a brand-new Blizzard franchise and helping launch the game to critical acclaim. Gresko joined Blizzard in 2008 as production director on Diablo III. Previously, Gresko worked on multiple highly regarded LucasArts titles, co-founded and managed Nihilistic Software, and was director of production and studio design director for Stormfront Studios.

About Allen Adham

As executive producer, senior vice president, and founder of Blizzard Entertainment, Allen Adham is responsible for supporting some of the company’s initiatives around new product incubation. In this role, he serves on Blizzard’s executive team and helps shepherd the company’s vision for the future while setting goals and strategies that support Blizzard’s dedication to creating the most epic entertainment experiences ever. In February 1991, Allen co-founded Blizzard Entertainment with Mike Morhaime and Frank Pearce, serving as the company’s first president and later chairman. He provided executive leadership on the company’s first games, helping to build the industry-leading Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo entertainment universes. This included overseeing the creation of World of Warcraft and serving as the game’s lead designer from inception through its first five years of development.

About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft®, Hearthstone®, Overwatch®, the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, and the multi-franchise Heroes of the Storm®, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes twenty-two #1 games* and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online gaming service, Blizzard Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.