NEW LEADERSHIP AT BLIZZARD

Archian

Site Director
Level 46
Joined
Jan 1, 2006
Messages
2,292
64317972-1367-4674-81A4-075282FC47B7.png
Blizzard said:

To all members of the Blizzard Community,

We want to let you know about an important leadership change at Blizzard Entertainment.

Starting today, J. Allen Brack will be stepping down as the leader of the studio, and Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will co-lead Blizzard moving forward.

Jen joined Blizzard in January as executive vice president of development, where she’s been providing senior development leadership and support to the Diablo and Overwatch franchises. Jen is the former head of Vicarious Visions (which is now part of Blizzard Entertainment).

After many years at XBOX, Mike joined the company in 2019 as the executive vice president and general manager of platform and technology, where he’s been overseeing the evolution of Battle.net and our development services organization.

Jen and Mike have more than three decades of gaming industry experience between them. Moving forward, they will share responsibilities over game development and company operations.

Both leaders are deeply committed to all of our employees; to the work ahead to ensure Blizzard is the safest, most welcoming workplace possible for women, and people of any gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or background; to upholding and reinforcing our values; and to rebuilding your trust. With their many years of industry experience and deep commitment to integrity and inclusivity, Jen and Mike will lead Blizzard with care, compassion, and a dedication to excellence. You’ll hear more from Jen and Mike soon.

The following is a message from J. Allen Brack:

“I am confident that Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will provide the leadership Blizzard needs to realize its full potential and will accelerate the pace of change. I anticipate they will do so with passion and enthusiasm and that they can be trusted to lead with the highest levels of integrity and commitment to the components of our culture that make Blizzard so special.”
Finally, thank you all for being a part of the Blizzard community, and for your passion and determination for safety and equality for all.
 
Last edited:
Both leaders are deeply committed to all of our employees; to the work ahead to ensure Blizzard is the safest, most welcoming workplace possible for women, and people of any gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or background; to upholding and reinforcing our values; and to rebuilding your trust. With their many years of industry experience and deep commitment to integrity and inclusivity, Jen and Mike will lead Blizzard with care, compassion, and a dedication to excellence.

The quality of their games is a reflection of their work environment and leadership. I will not believe this statement until we see proper, well-crafted games like we used to.
 
Last edited:
Level 21
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
700
Is kinda sad than gamers as the consumer who buy their products can't get changes done, because they lack of enough self control to close the wallet and send a message, and has to be a case of sexual harassment devaluing the shares, that opened the road to a leadership change.

On a more cynical view, i think we can put a new law of common sense "When a company talks about diversity, the skeletons are raiding at the closet"
 
Level 18
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
1,201
I mean, with everything that happened, they needed to sacrifice someone (=Brack is gone), show that the bad Blizzard of old is gone (i.e. both new leaders joined the company only recently) and score a PR win by having a woman be the next president co-leader. And here we are.

Will it change anything? I have my doubts. I'm afraid this is a sign of Activision finally taking over, removing any autonomy Blizzard had left, so while I don't have anything against Jen or Mike, they might be the most competent people ever, I'm not sure they'll have enough power to actually change much. If so and it will be the Activision overlords running the show now, I don't believe anything good will come out of it.

That said, if new leadership actually has enough power to make a significant change at the company, Jen Oneal is the one I have some hopes for. I know, political corectness likely played a role in her promotion, but she was the head of Vicarious Visions before she joined Blizzard and they were doing pretty good. If she manages to get Blizzard to the same quality standard, it'll be a huge improvement. Fingers crossed.

EDIT: Mike Ybarra also has a decent biography, so I have hopes for him too. Overall it seems like both new leaders bear some promise.
 
Last edited:
Level 6
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
243
Will it change anything? I have my doubts. I'm afraid this is a sign of Activision finally taking over, removing any autonomy Blizzard had left, so while I don't have anything against Jen or Mike, they might be the most competent people ever, I'm not sure they'll have enough power to actually change much. If so and it will be the Activision overlords running the show now, I don't believe anything good will come out of it.

That's my take on it too. You can't have two presidents at once, therefore there is no more president position. This is just the final nail in the coffin for Blizzard. It's just Activision now.

They won't be getting another cent from me, that's for sure.
 

deepstrasz

Map Reviewer
Level 54
Joined
Jun 4, 2009
Messages
15,939
That's my take on it too. You can't have two presidents at once, therefore there is no more president position.
Well, you can't have a woman or man solo leading as that would be discriminating to the opposite sex. I'm waiting for a non-binary and whatever else will be invented in the future though since enough is never enough.
 

Mr.Goblin

Art & Graphics Design Moderator
Level 53
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
4,446
If DIablo 2 is a huge success, I may feel more trust worthy of Jen. For the rest I know Mike is competent enough following his credencials. But, I don't know for the rest. If Jen is a true fan of Blizzard (as I feel the team at Vicarious Visions are, through their remaster) I'm hoping for a soft reboot for Warcraft3 (one can dream)

With the last article about warcraft3 ressurfacing, Blizzard now know they can't hide for ever for this amazing game. It will follow them for ages. If they were to fix warcraft3 it would be a great PR move on their side to ''regain the trust of their players''. If I were them. I'd make everything in my power to make D2 as best as possible. (even to push away the release if needed),I would put D4 on the side. (yes I know, even though we are excited for it) and I'd focuss to clean all their skeletons in the closets... aka Warcraft3 reforge and WoW loosing all it's players to Final Fantasy. Get your shit together and put money back into these franchises to regain trust.
 
Level 11
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
157
IMHO, nothing will change in WC3:Reforged, but I have a dream that they COULD look and say to REF Team: "Hey guys, we're all know that Reforged failed, but let's do something for it, because community whatever play and continue to produce new content. So why we should completetly doom game? Let's improvise!" - and then they, at least, fixes lags in main menu.

Eh...
 

Rui

Rui

Level 40
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
7,495
EDIT: Mike Ybarra also has a decent biography, so I have hopes for him too.
For the rest I know Mike is competent enough following his credencials.
You're right, guys. Being aboard the Hyperion and helping to stop a huge zerg invasion has gotta count for something, even though I've ever only seen him getting wasted in the cantina.
 
I believe having a woman and man at the top, that the sexual harassments will degrade, unless that woman likes harassing men...

A sad story, after Mr Cool ( aka chris metzen ) left after he delivered his baby Overwatch ( which supprised me enormously ) every key member of the Blizzard team has left since...
It is now more Activision then it is Blizzard

Wandering who's next...

T.
 
Not too surprising.
They're scapegoating.

"Things have totally changed, guys! New leaders = new culture. No need to work with our internal company culture long term, we already fixed it by letting go of this guy. Just ignore all the systemic issues we have, it was totally just because of this one guy."
~ Blizzard probably
 
Level 10
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
130
They act the same as political parties, a facelift to make it appear that things change, but in reality it is all the same. What was rotten will remain rotten, nothing will change. I'm sorry, but I no longer have any faith or attachment to this company. What's more, I hate them, they has destroyed my favorite game (Warcraft III). I repeat what I said, I hope it breaks and disappears. I will never give them a single euro again.

PS: The little community that remains of Warcraft III we do not need Blizzard at all, all it does is annoy.
 
Level 5
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
118
Here's to hoping WC3 Reforged will be handed off to Vicarious Visions to either completely re-do it, or to fix it to the best of their capacity.

I recommend checking out the Bellular News channel on Youtube, they have been diving into the WC3 situation and all of the recent Blizzard drama.
For those that don't know, Vicarious Visions is now part of Blizzard (I believe) and have done numerous remasters of classic games and are currently handling Diablo 2's remaster.

I Firmly believe that if VV was to take over WC3, we would get a fan worthy Remaster that we deserve as long time fans.
 

Retera

Hosted Project: WME
Level 37
Joined
Apr 19, 2008
Messages
1,320
I Firmly believe that if VV was to take over WC3, we would get a fan worthy Remaster that we deserve as long time fans.
I do not agree at all. I don't think it matters who you put in the trenches when you're fighting a war for the wrong reasons in general.
 

Kam

Kam

Community Development Manager
Level 36
Joined
Aug 3, 2004
Messages
2,726
I do not agree at all. I don't think it matters who you put in the trenches when you're fighting a war for the wrong reasons in general.
Reforged had little to do with the quality or devotion of the developers working on it. Retera is correct in this statement.
 
Level 13
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
606
The developers who worked on Reforged could have been the best game designers in the world or a group of twelve year olds from Fiverr and you probably would have seen the same results. It's clear from the internal reports Blizz released that there was absolutely no leadership or direction at all. The fact that it took five months to "Reforge" a single mission screams to me that the team basically had to work in the dark. Pile on the cartoonishly cruel Crunch Time they had to endure and it should be considered a miracle they could have write a functioning line of code through the exhaustion and low morale.

The death sentence for the project was Blizzard slashing the budget and scope to get it out for Q1 and scam the preorderers out of some quick cash back when they thought they could avoid paying out refunds. The conditions and management behind the project meant it was doomed to failure and any progress made on it was ultimately pointless, however miraculous it was. The things they were able to do with an incredibly old engine in a short amount of time under the terrible conditions they endured are amazing on a technical level, though sadly not nearly enough to make the situation any better.

I'll admit, I've had disagreements with some of the people I've talked to who worked on the game -- one conversation in particular that sticks out in my mind is when I complained about how Reforged (which is a mandatory update for "official" copies of the game) bloated the file size and requirements of WC3 and was met with a dismissive and I felt condescending response to the effect of "those are the standard specs for any modern game!" and "people have newer computers and external storage devices now!" which reminds me of the whole "Do you guys not have phones?" debacle. I thought the dismissive attitude about this complaint might have explained how it happened in the first place. But I was really, really wrong. It turns out that the devs had absolutely no control whatsoever of what features were implemented and which weren't, and any pleas to Blizz to allow them to fix something seriously wrong or try to change something ridiculously bad were met with total apathy and a stern refusal to change anything. The developers were basically told to shut up, stop complaining and go back to work.

I think it's especially screwed up that Blizzard made all their developers sign those stupid NDAs to not say anything bad about the game only for Blizzard themselves to put out a scathing internal report shitting all over it. I feel extremely bad for the developers who tried to find the silver lining in this disaster and tried to at least take some pride in their work only for Blizz to totally invalidate them. If you're going to admit the remaster was a failure, at least let the people who worked on it out of their stupid contracts so they can speak as honestly as you do.
 
Level 15
Joined
May 14, 2004
Messages
214
I thought Reforged failed because everything that was built atop Warcraft III up to 2018 was bad code-wise, comprised of hacks, etc, and that the primary goal of the project managers was more cosmetic (remaking the graphic style from the ground up, re-voicing and re-doing the entire campaign) than anything else. Basically, the team had good intentions in reviving the game, were highly skilled with working on the old engine, but kinda blew it on the direction and execution.

And it seems more and more likely that the change in Blizzard leadership won't result in much.
 
Level 6
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
71
i don't trust none of them because

1 is the person who replaced Samwize's face in reforged and is gutting both D2 refunded old art paired with the shitshow that was crash remastered.
2 is the guy who almost killed Xboxlive, Store pass and killed mixer, until MS fired him and let Phil save the entire thing.

they smell of next scapegoats
 
Level 13
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
606
I thought Reforged failed because everything that was built atop Warcraft III up to 2018 was bad code-wise, comprised of hacks, etc, and that the primary goal of the project managers was more cosmetic (remaking the graphic style from the ground up, re-voicing and re-doing the entire campaign) than anything else. Basically, the team had good intentions in reviving the game, were highly skilled with working on the old engine, but kinda blew it on the direction and execution.

And it seems more and more likely that the change in Blizzard leadership won't result in much.
Not entirely correct. If they wanted to fix the problems with the post-2018 updates to WC3, they could have just fixed them individually. This remaster was made for all reasons games are made: to make a lot of money. It didn't work.
 

InsaneMonster

Hosted Project: W3RR
Level 20
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
287
The fact that it took five months to "Reforge" a single mission screams to me that the team basically had to work in the dark. Pile on the cartoonishly cruel Crunch Time they had to endure and it should be considered a miracle they could have write a functioning line of code through the exhaustion and low morale.

Wait, what? It's much more complex than you think. A month to reforge a single mission is bare minimum if you want to make quality work.
 
Level 26
Joined
Jul 26, 2004
Messages
1,424
I feel really bad for the employees at Blizzard.

I can't imagine what it's like to get your dream job, only to have that dream shattered due to a highly toxic work environment, as well as all your hard work overshadowed by the gross incompetence and negligence of the company's leadership.

This is all kind of heartbreaking. Hopefully, the change in leadership will bring about some changes, but I'm not too convinced.

At this point, the best one could hope for is for Blizzard to die and have the IP be bought by someone who would actually care for it. Unfortunately, I don't see that ever happening.
 
Level 6
Joined
Feb 20, 2020
Messages
71
Reminder that the reforged team tried to blame Lemon Sky until LS devs showed up on warcraft 3 subreddits and spilled all the beans about blizzard.
And 4 months later C&C remastered came out and broke Refunded's back, which LS helped Petroglyph and EA, which gave them all the liberty to do the proper remastering with the original assets.

there is even videos on YT about it.
 
Last edited:
Level 13
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
606
Wait, what? It's much more complex than you think. A month to reforge a single mission is bare minimum if you want to make quality work.
You're misunderstanding. I'm not saying maps don't need a lot of development time, I'm saying the fact that the entire team was stuck on a single mission for half a year shows a lack of leadership or direction.
 
Level 13
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
497
I love how we got very upfront now that we're no longer tied down on our neck :p

Anyway, I am pessimistic at the moment. I'll just be watching, but I think it might need more share drop to make them realize the whole grand scheme of things are problematic.

It's a real shame to have seen the lengths that Hive had go to to keep up appearances with Blizz, knowing that in the end it was all a wasted effort.

This company never deserved its fanbase's dedication or respect.
 

Chaosy

Tutorial Reviewer
Level 39
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
13,081
Found this entire debacle quite amusing to be honest.

Coming from someone who mainly followed it from a WoW player PoV, this was a large portion of the WoW community, or at least from what I observed.

"Fuck WoW and Blizzard, I'll go play <insert option> instead!"
1. Final Fantasy 14
2. New World

FF14 is developed by a Japanese company, Japanese work culture is most likely worse than whatever Blizzard employees are upset about.
You know it's bad when your language has a word for working yourself to death.
Not saying that makes it okay, I am saying you are just supporting another soulless company in that case.

Amazon owns New Word, a quick google search on Amazon work conditions ought to enlighten you.

People who are outraged by this need to wake up, all big companies are corrupt and if you refuse to support any of them you need to go out and live in the woods without human contact.

I'll also point out that Riot Games had a similar PR disaster a few years ago about sexual harassment.
Their CEO did not get fired or step down, I don't remember seeing any doom and gloom, nor did half their content creators quit either.
Who the fuck talks about this now.

People are just looking to get upset, that's my best guess.
Either that or they are hypocrites.
 
Last edited:
Level 13
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
606
Found this entire debacle quite amusing to be honest.

Coming from someone who mainly followed it from a WoW player PoV, this was a large portion of the WoW community, or at least from what I observed.

"Fuck WoW and Blizzard, I'll go play <insert option> instead!"
1. Final Fantasy 14
2. New World

FF14 is developed by a Japanese company, Japanese work culture is most likely worse than whatever Blizzard employees are upset about.
You know it's bad when your language has a word for working yourself to death.
Not saying that makes it okay, I am saying you are just supporting another soulless company in that case.

Amazon owns New Word, a quick google search on Amazon work conditions ought to enlighten you.

People who are outraged by this need to wake up, all big companies are corrupt and if you refuse to support any of them you need to go out and live in the woods without human contact.

I'll also point out that Riot Games had a similar PR disaster a few years ago about sexual harassment.
Their CEO did not get fired or step down, I don't remember seeing any doom and gloom, nor did half their content creators quit either.
Who the fuck talks about this now.

People are just looking to get upset, that's my best guess.
Either that or they are hypocrites.
It bothers me a lot that you seem more concerned about whether or not the people upset are hypocrites than if the company is corrupt.
 
Level 16
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
1,455
The developers who worked on Reforged could have been the best game designers in the world or a group of twelve year olds from Fiverr and you probably would have seen the same results. It's clear from the internal reports Blizz released that there was absolutely no leadership or direction at all. The fact that it took five months to "Reforge" a single mission screams to me that the team basically had to work in the dark. Pile on the cartoonishly cruel Crunch Time they had to endure and it should be considered a miracle they could have write a functioning line of code through the exhaustion and low morale.

The death sentence for the project was Blizzard slashing the budget and scope to get it out for Q1 and scam the preorderers out of some quick cash back when they thought they could avoid paying out refunds. The conditions and management behind the project meant it was doomed to failure and any progress made on it was ultimately pointless, however miraculous it was. The things they were able to do with an incredibly old engine in a short amount of time under the terrible conditions they endured are amazing on a technical level, though sadly not nearly enough to make the situation any better.

I'll admit, I've had disagreements with some of the people I've talked to who worked on the game -- one conversation in particular that sticks out in my mind is when I complained about how Reforged (which is a mandatory update for "official" copies of the game) bloated the file size and requirements of WC3 and was met with a dismissive and I felt condescending response to the effect of "those are the standard specs for any modern game!" and "people have newer computers and external storage devices now!" which reminds me of the whole "Do you guys not have phones?" debacle. I thought the dismissive attitude about this complaint might have explained how it happened in the first place. But I was really, really wrong. It turns out that the devs had absolutely no control whatsoever of what features were implemented and which weren't, and any pleas to Blizz to allow them to fix something seriously wrong or try to change something ridiculously bad were met with total apathy and a stern refusal to change anything. The developers were basically told to shut up, stop complaining and go back to work.

I think it's especially screwed up that Blizzard made all their developers sign those stupid NDAs to not say anything bad about the game only for Blizzard themselves to put out a scathing internal report shitting all over it. I feel extremely bad for the developers who tried to find the silver lining in this disaster and tried to at least take some pride in their work only for Blizz to totally invalidate them. If you're going to admit the remaster was a failure, at least let the people who worked on it out of their stupid contracts so they can speak as honestly as you do.
where did you get your five month figure? I want you to give me a direct quote for that figure, go ahead I'm waiting.
 
Top