Co-Founder Frank Pearce Departs Blizzard Entertainment
Co-founder and Chief Development Officer Frank Pearce announced he is stepping down his position and departing Blizzard Entertainment. Frank Pearce was a pillar of the original company Silicon and Synapses, Chaos Studios, and what’s known as Blizzard Entertainment as programmer of the original titles that put the company at the top of the headlines and game awards of the time:
The Lost Vikings (1993)
Justice League: Task Force (1995)
WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness (1995)
Norse by Norse West: The Return of the Lost Vikings (1997)
WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos (2002)
WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne (2003)
Alongside the most memorable faces of the company: Mike Morhaime, Chris Metzen, Rob Pardo, Nick Carpenter, Micky Neilson, James Waugh, and many others that fans got used to see in interviews and panels — Frank Pearce will be missed by Blizzard fans. Their combined contributions to our favorite games will be remembered for decades among the legends.
From Frank Pearce
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,
From J. Allen Brack
The time has come to say goodbye to one of my heroes, one of our founders, as well as one of our friends. When I moved into my new position last year, Frank stepped into an advisory role to help with the transition, specifically working with Ray Gresko and me on our games, culture, and the future of Blizzard. His support has been invaluable to us and to say we’re going to miss him is an understatement.
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.