Blizzard veteran Mike Morhaime has stepped down from his position as Blizzard Entertainment president. World of Warcraft executive producer J. Allen Brack will succeed Morhaime.
Morhaime founded Blizzard 27 years ago, when the company was originally called Silicon & Synapse. He’ll stay with the company as a strategic advisor to Blizzard. Alongside Brack’s appointment, Blizzard named Ray Gresko and Blizzard founder Allen Adham to the company’s executive leadership team.
“J. has been with Blizzard for over 12 years leading the World of Warcraft team, and it takes vision, creativity, and unwavering commitment to excellence to sustain a community of players the way J. has for a decade,” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said in a statement. “J. is an inspiring leader. He has shown unwavering commitment to our community, to innovation and creative excellence and he cares deeply about ensuring the very best of Blizzard culture will be protected.”
In a message to Blizzard community members posted to the Blizzard website, Morhaime thanked players for “many years of support,” and remember them to always “play nice; play fair.”
“You have given me the inspiration and drive to pour my heart and life into what I do. I literally couldn’t have done any of it without you,” Morhaime wrote. “We have created these worlds, but you have given them life, through your passion, fan art, cosplay, videos, and in so many other ways.”
Brack addressed fans, too, noting that Blizzard’s core commitments will not change: “To gameplay first, to quality in everything we do, and to listening to and partnering with our community,” Brack wrote. Brack also noted that the Blizzard, as per usual, has “a few surprises” lined up for BlizzCon 2018.