The Death of Blizzard
When I was about 14 years old I started telling my mother that I was going to graduate college and move to Irvine, Ca. to follow my dream of working at Blizzard Entertainment. Although I played The Lost Vikings later, I was first introduced to both Blizzard as well as the RTS genre with Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. I clearly remember buying the original Diablo when it released, back when PC games came in huge boxes.
I was a Blizzard fanboy. Some of my fondest memories of childhood is connecting via dial-up modem to my friends and playing Starcraft and Warcraft II matches. Some of my most prized possesions were the game booklets included with the games back then which was packed full of original, amazing artwork from Chris Metzen and Samwise Didier. I literally based all of my dreams on someday working for what I considered at the time to be the greatest game developer the world has ever seen. This dream continued all the way through my education at Full Sail University, which was unfortunately cut short by my collapsing marriage. Even after that dream was crushed for me, I still had hopes that one day I could break into the industry and have a chance to do anything at Blizzard.
Unfortunately however my life didn’t lead me that direction, after my marriage ended and a serious back injury I picked up a devastating addiction to opiates which held a grip on me and ruined my life for over a decade. There were times during this period that I would be homeless, but would hold on to one thing, my laptop so that I could find a wifi connection somewhere and play Starcraft II. That is until I was beaten during a robbery and had it stolen from me. That’s how deep my love for Blizzard games went, they were sometimes my escape from a literal hell. During the height of my addiction I was actually working as a chef at a high end resort in Florida, and I saw over and over something that disgusted me and made me question humanity itself. I saw people who were addicted to money and greed, in a way that mimicked the people I knew that were seriously addicted to heroin. It sickened me that people would do worse things to obtain personal wealth than people would do for hard drugs, and that’s the level of greed I see now in the development company that I literally based all of my childhood dreams on.
I’ve been sober since January 21st, 2015 and I vowed not only to stay that way but to also fight the level of greed I had seen watching these terrible rich people at the resort. With these experiences, I am seeing now that Activision Blizzard are pulling what we would refer to as “junkie stunts”. Taking part in shady, morally wrongful activities for the sake of a quick buck. Just like an addict on the street, these activities can only lead to a fiery downfall and I believe that we are seeing Blizzard hit rock bottom. It saddens me so much to know that one of the most celebrated developers of all time is only a dirty shell of their once celebrated creative culture that was focused on polish and community relationships.
I still play Overwatch as it’s a game I have put countless hours into and as I tried to play a couple of matches yesterday I felt not only guilty, but also saddened. I was sad because I wondered how long Overwatch would be the game that I so enjoyed before it was totally destroyed by the speeding greed-dozer that Blizzard has become under the umbrella of Activision. Will Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV be the final nails in the coffins of these beloved franchises? I hope not with all of my heart but at this point I believe it is a clear and present danger.
Although I have not, and will not purchase Warcraft III: Reforged, I do own the original Warcraft III, and will be spending some time with it over the next few days to let you guys know how badly we are affected as owners of the original game. I have started a petition at Change.org to hold an individual responsible for these devastating actions at Blizzard, and that individual is J. Allen Brack. His non-apologies and blatant disregard for the fans that pay their bills alone warrant his removal from the company and this petition explains that. I ask you guys to make a stance with this, and although I don’t expect any real action I believe we can really show the power we can have when a community of fans comes together. The Blizzard we know is dying, and there is only a short time to salvage at least some of the magic they have brought to us for decades.