World of Warcraft chief gets major promotion in Activision Blizzard top team reshuffle
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World of Warcraft chief gets major promotion in Activision Blizzard top team reshuffle

If you’ve spent any time online, you may have heard of World of Warcraft. This sprawling game was long considered a jewel in the crown of industry-leading video game company Activision Blizzard. It pioneered the concept of open world exploration (the idea that characters are able to roam free around a world populated by ‘side quests’ and non-essential places and characters). And it led the pack in developing the concept of the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game – a shared game where anyone can join in over the internet). Now, the man responsible for its success has been pegged to head up Activision’s Blizzard studio.

Activision Blizzard’s share price has appreciated by 24% so far this year

graph 0910 warcraft

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

World of Warcraft’s executive producer, J. Allen Brack (a Blizzard veteran) has been appointed president of Blizzard Entertainment, where he succeeds Mike Morhaime (who will remain in a strategic advisory position). This appointment – if not long overdue – is encouraging, as investors will be hoping that Brack can weave some of his World of Warcraft magic on Blizzard’s other intellectual properties.

To get an extent of the power of that magic, consider the following facts: 12 years into its life, World of Warcraft had over 100 million players. It is, by a long stretch, the world’s most popular MMORPG. And that success has resulted in a literal fortune for Activision Blizzard: just a year later, in 2017, total revenue from World of Warcraft stood at $9.23 billion. Figures like these can make or break companies.

Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard’s CEO, said: “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 over a decade. 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 response, Brack expressed thanks, as well as confidence in the studio’s future output. He said: “I am incredibly honored and humbled to serve as Blizzard’s next president, and to lead one of the best entertainment companies in the world, thanks to the passion and dedication of our player community and employees. Blizzard was founded on the promise of making great games, and I plan to continue this fierce commitment to quality, our community, and our purpose. I couldn’t be more excited about what’s next given the strength of our pipeline.”

Investors should consider that last line as more than just a throw-away: remember, the man who wrote it created one of the biggest franchises in video game history.

Disclosure

Dominion holds Activision Blizzard in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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