The old guard has slowly but surely been departing Blizzard and today the one and only Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce has decided to call it a day after twenty-eight years of fantastic service.
Following Mike Morhaime stepping down it was only a matter of time that more of the original Blizzard team would end up leaving. For those of us who have been following the company closely from more than two decades, we’ve not only seen the company staff change, but also the games and the company culture. Frank Pearce released the following statement.
The time has come for me to step away from Blizzard and pass the torch to the next generation of leaders.
My journey as part of the Blizzard community began over 28 years ago. Allen offered me an opportunity to join him and Mike in their adventure and dream to make video games. Video games were a passion that we shared, and I had only a fleeting hope that I would have the opportunity to make games one day. The decision was easy for me – I did not have the benefit of internet searches to help start me down the path. Allen’s offer letter was the best and only chance I thought I might ever have. Looking back, I know how incredibly fortunate I was to have been a part of what Blizzard has become.
Our efforts were always guided by well-intentioned purpose. We made games that we wanted to play, believing that like-minded people would also want to play those games. Today we characterize it more specifically with the ambitious vision of bringing the world together through epic entertainment. I am so proud to have had the chance to positively impact the lives of so many people through the experiences we have created.
My time at Blizzard encompasses the entirety of both my professional career and my adult life. I have countless fond memories. Working with the best developers in the world on the best franchises in the world definitively stands out. Even more prominent are my memories of our first BlizzCon where I realized the special importance of the people and communities that had become part of the experience for our players.
Words cannot express the gratitude I feel to have been involved with Blizzard, our games, our employees, and most importantly our community. Before Blizzard I struggled to find a place in which I felt I belonged. Now I know I will always have a place, as will many other people. Thank you to all of you for providing me the sense of inclusion I require as a person.
I have been lucky enough to work with J and Ray for many years, and now it is their responsibility to define how the adventure continues. They are game development leaders that are incredibly talented, experienced, and truly understand what is foundationally most important for Blizzard and our community. I know that the future of Blizzard will be amazing under their guidance. There are many exciting initiatives in the works, and I can’t wait to see the end results.
Everything I have done at Blizzard has been driven by my passion. I have worked very hard and very passionately for a very long time. Now it is time for me to reflect and be thoughtful about what comes next. I plan to spend more time active in the outdoors. I’d like to learn to play an instrument. I hope to devote more time to aspects of my life that may not have gotten as much attention in the past. One thing is for certain – I will continue to be a part of the Blizzard family.
My request and hope for all of you is that you continue living the Blizzard values and that you be kind and respectful to one another as you experience what Blizzard creates in the future. Blizzard is a special place and a special community, and everyone with whom you interact is important to the Blizzard journey as it continues forward. Thanks to everyone for the wonderful past I have enjoyed, and thank you in advance for the great future I expect we will share.
Play nice, play fair,
Now leading the charge, J. Allen Brack added:
The first time I met Frank was during a lunch interview to join Blizzard. I was nervous not only because I was excited about the opportunity to join a company I loved, but because I was sitting face-to-face with one of the founders of Blizzard.
Frank can be intimidating, and sometimes comes across as a bit gruff. Underneath is a person of deep feeling, and of deep love for both the family of Blizzard, and the unique and caring community that has grown around Blizzard games. Frank is also a person I’m proud to call a close friend. Frank was one of the people who got me into running, and we’ve run dozens of races together over the years.
Like many of us, Frank is an introvert. Thus many of you haven’t seen a lot of him publicly, nor seen the deep impact he’s had on Blizzard, and on the culture specifically. But Frank has been here from the beginning, building and expanding the foundation and championing the values behind everything Blizzard does. Blizzard is better because of Frank Pearce.
A few BlizzCons ago, Frank talked about the value of human connection through video games, feeling a sense of belonging within the community, and that comes from a very personal place for Frank. Frank might be hanging up his armor now, but because of the influence he’s had in helping to build Blizzard and the connections he’s made with so many of us, veterans and new recruits alike who are all carrying the same torch forward, he’ll always be here with us.
We love you Frank.
Frank will be sorely missed, and every time I had a chance to chat to him, it was always a real pleasure. We wish Frank all the best in his next adventure.