“I’m excited to team up with such talented people who care deeply about games and their communities,” Mike Morhaime said in a press release. “I’ve always believed in the power of games to bring people together regardless of backgrounds or boundaries. With Dreamhaven, we look forward to creating and sharing new experiences with players everywhere.”
Dreamhaven also revealed that it’s already acquired two new studios for its roster led by more Blizzard alumni: Moonshot Games, led by Jason Chayes (Hearthstone), Dustin Browder (StarCraft II) and Ben Thompson (Hearthstone), and Secret Door, led by Chris Sigaty (Warcraft III), Alan Dabiri (Warcraft III) and Eric Dodds (Hearthstone).
In 2019, Morhaime’s departure from Blizzard was met with worry. It seemed he was yet another example of the apparent slow exodus of old guard Blizzard employees leaving the company since the Activision-Blizzard merger in 2013.
Chris Metzen, the artist and designer who defined Blizzard’s aesthetic to this day, retired in 2016 after 23 years with the company. He later cited low morale, anxiety and panic attacks as the major factors behind his decision in a podcast interview with Scott Johnson. Kim Phan left her position as Director of Global Esports in 2019 after over 13 years with Blizzard, which was just weeks after Nate Nanzer left for Epic Games.
Michael Chu, who spent 20 years with Blizzard, is the latest big name to leave. The former lead writer of Overwatch announced his departure in March 2020.
Some have speculated that this is due to the cost-cutting measures that Activision’s increasing influence has had on the company, pushing its employees to produce more games with less money. This approach is a far cry from the old Blizzard of yesteryear that would indefinitely delay games that were deemed unsatisfactory or cancel them outright.
“Dreamhaven is hopefully like a beacon to the rest of the industry,” Morhaime told the Washington Post. “Maybe we can lead by example and show that there’s a better way of doing things and approaching the business of games and treating your employees and treating your players. Obviously you have to have success in product creation and success financially to back that up. But that is what we’re going for.”
Dreamhaven has not announced any titles in development yet.
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