- Jan 1, 2006
|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.
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.
incorrect, the quality of their games is a reflection of their commitment to integrity and inclusivityThe 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.
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.
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.That's my take on it too. You can't have two presidents at once, therefore there is no more president position.
EDIT: Mike Ybarra also has a decent biography, so I have hopes for him too.
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.For the rest I know Mike is competent enough following his credencials.
Agree, however I'm also glad that Brack is gone, asshole still reminds me of his "you think you do but you don't" commentsUnfortunately, the real rot in Activision's executive team, Bobby Kotick, Fran Townsend, and others, remains.
J. Allen Brack was just a scapegoat.
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.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.
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.
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.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.
I love how we got very upfront now that we're no longer tied down on our neck
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 bothers me a lot that you seem more concerned about whether or not the people upset are hypocrites than if the company is corrupt.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.
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.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.