Blizzard Entertainment co-founder Mike Morhaime will be presented with the 2019 Honor Award at the Gamelab Barcelona event in Spain. According to a press release, the award is being given for “his successful career in gaming and his key role in the creation of some of the most groundbreaking and influential interactive universes of all-time.”
Morhaime led Blizzard as its CEO for 27 years before stepping down in October 2018. In addition to receiving the honor, he will be hosting a fireside chat at Gamelab. There, he’ll presumably talk about his long career with Blizzard and the creation of iconic franchises like Diablo.
“Blizzard Entertainment and the videogames world as a whole wouldn’t be what they are today without the dedication, vision, and passion of Morhaime,” said Gamelab founder and director Ivan Fernandez Lobo in a statement. “Beyond his impressive career, it’s Mike’s kindness and human quality that we admire most. Mike is an inspiration for everyone in the industry and especially for those who have been lucky enough to work with him.”
Both Morhaime and co-founder Allen Adham are credited for keeping Blizzard to a high standard of quality, but it was Morhaime who kept the tradition going after Adham left the company in 2004. Those standards included not shipping any games before they’re ready (which often earned the ire of enthusiastic fans) and killing projects that weren’t living up to expectations. It’s that commitment that made games such as Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch such enduring franchises.
Blizzard Entertainment was founded in February 1991 by Morhaime, with Adham as its CEO, and Frank Pearce, who is now the company’s chief product adviser. After parting with the company, Adham returned to Blizzard in 2018 to become its current SVP of product development.
In 2008, Morhaime was inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) Hall of Fame.
By accepting the Gamelab Honor Award, Morhaime joins previous honorees that include Ultima creator Richard Garriott, Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, PS4 Lead Architect Mark Cerny, Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki, Pac-man creator Toru Iwatani, Bethesda Games Todd Howard or Metal Gear Solid’s Hideo Kojima.