eGameFame: Mike Morhaime — The Blizzard Co-Founder And CEO
Meet Mike Morhaime. A man well known and fondly remembered for his announcement of StarCraft 2 back in 2007. For those of you unfamiliar with Mike Morhaime, he’s the co-founder and CEO of Blizzard Entertainment.
After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree from UCLA in 1990, he and his fellow cohorts–Allen Adham and Frank Pearce–founded Silicon and Synapse, a firm now known as Blizzard Entertainment — and a firm which is now part of Activision.
Morhaime and Co. actually named the company Chaos Studios, but due a conflict with another firm they had to rename. After a few random names they settled on Blizzard Entertainment, and in the same year they made it really big, before being acquired by Davidson and Associates for around $10 million. Their acquisition was due to the release of Warcraft: Orcs and Humans.
With Mike at the helm of the Blizzard ship he took it from strength to strength. Blizzard has reached the point where he, as the CEO, earns around $4.5 million with benefits and stock options each year.
Being the CEO of Blizzard does have its perks, and this includes a trove of specialty items sitting in his office. Besides posters and copies of every game, and battle chests of each franchise, he has a replica of the Frostmourne sword hanging on his wall–making him the Lich King?–and a frame with World of Warcraft credit cards inside of it. Despite this, his most important novelties include the sword and shield hanging on his wall which represents his service to Blizzard. Mike received the sword for five years of service at Blizzard, and the Shield for 10 years of service. Furthermore he has a ring that he wears, and this represents 15 years of service.
While other companies say that their games are special–because of “blah and “blah”–Mike can boast that one of his games has done something no other game has done before: Gone to space. In 1999 an astronaut by the name of Daniel Barry took a copy of the original StarCraft into space on Space Shuttle mission STS-96. This game now resides in the Blizzard Museum.
Alongside all of this, an animated version of Mike appeared on the South Park titled “Make Love, Not Warcraft”, which won an Emmy award. Following this, he also has been honoured in 2008 at the Technology and Engineering Emmy awards for the creation of the grossly popular MMORPG World of Warcraft.
If this isn’t interesting enough, well then, you’d want to know that Mike plays for a band started which was started for Blizzard employees. Mike plays bass in the band which is known as “The Artists Formerly Known as Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain”, abbreviated to TAFKAL80ETC. Now before you get too excited, they play in game and tour the WoW universe. His in game nick is Mai’Kyl — yeah, all you stalkers can go and find him now.
And no Mike does not spend all his time in doors working on game related, and business related, things. Mike spends most of his time in the air, travelling around, going to conferences and meetings. With the odd game of poker here and there. In 2006 he participated in the DICE celebrity poker tournament where he made to the final round, however after a dramatic 45 minute game he lost to Ray Muzyka, CEO of BioWare corp.
Overall we need to thank this man for bringing us the StarCraft, WarCraft and Diablo franchises. And WoW, if you’re into that.