Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce has announced he’s leaving the Warcraft developer after 28 years.
In a post on the Blizzard website, Pearce said it was time to “pass the torch to the next generation of leaders.”
Pearce is the second of Blizzard’s three co-founders to depart in the past 12 months. Mike Morhaime stepped down as president in October 2018 but stayed on as a strategic adviser until departing Blizzard in April 2019, while Allen Adham remains a senior vice president at the company.
“Words cannot express the gratitude I feel to have been involved with Blizzard, our games, our employees, and most importantly our community,” Pearce said.
“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.”
Current Blizzard president J. Allen Brack also released a statement, emphasising Pearce’s impact on the studio.
“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.”
Blizzard is currently doubling down on development, with more games said to be in the works than at any point in its near 30-year history.
The studio has confirmed it won’t have a booth at Gamescom 2019 in August “as part of a renewed effort this year” to maintain its focus on development.
It’s possible Blizzard may be saving some big announcements for BlizzCon 2019, which will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center in California on November 1 and 2.