In big industry news, a group of ex-Blizzard Activision developers has announced a new publishing company. The company is headed by Mike Morhaime and is named Dreamhaven. Morhaime was previously boss of Blizzard until 2018. Dreamhaven also boasts several other major names. These include Ben Thompson, Dustin Browder, Chris Sagarty, and Eric Dodds. Dreamhaven has two studios at launch, Moonshot and Secret Door.
Morhaime states in his announcement: “I’m excited to team up with such talented people who care deeply about games and their communities. 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.”
There is some real talent here, so hopes are sky-high for Dreamhaven. Just a quick look at the talent reveals some major experience. Dustin Browder was Game Director for Starcraft 2 and Command & Conquer. Chris Sigaty was Lead Producer on Warcraft 3. With this level of talent, Dreamhaven will certainly be hoping they can recreate the success of those games.
Troubled Waters At Blizzard?
What is interesting about this news is that it follows reports of unrest within Blizzard. Despite going from strength to strength, the Blizzard has been caught up in several controversies. This has gone as far as the #boycottBlizzard campaign, following the Blitzchung controversy. Beyond this, Blizzard employees are unhappy with their wages, especially compared to that of Activision employees. Bobby Kotick is also a divisive figure, with a huge salary. Not to mention major layoffs within the company following record sales. Finally, there is concern about the growing influence of Activision over Blizzard, in what was previously described as a partnership. Dreamhaven being created is no surprise given this list of issues.
While Bobby Kotick will view news of Dreamhaven as little more than an annoyance, this is not a good look for the company. To lose so many key staff to a new rival will be worrying. It is good news for gamers though, with a new major publisher about. So, are you excited to see what games they will release? I know I am!