Blizzard Co-Founders Head for Greener Pastures

In a prepared statement today, Blizzard Entertainment announced that the co-founders of Blizzard North; Erich Schaefer, Max Schaefer and David Brevik, have "resigned from the company to pursue other opportunities." Joining in their departure is a fourth employee, Bill Roper, who has been a producer with Blizzard since its earliest days and one of its main press agents.

The segment of the company, Blizzard North, which the Shaefers and Brevik initially founded, was originally known as Condor before its aquisition by Blizzard during February of 1996. It has been responsible for the development of both of the Diablo titles as well as the Lord of Destruction Expansion, which was released for the second game in June of 2001.

These departures have also come at an unfortunate time for Blizzard's parent company, Vivendi Universal Games, which has been up for sale by Vivendi Universal for a number of months. With Blizzard being the most desirable aspect of Vivendi Universal Games, the high profile loss of four of its major contributors may hinder its potential for sale and Vivendi's own ability to recoup its debts.

Currently, the four free agents have not hinted at their future plans, but any number of game companies would be willing to hire them, and there is also a lot of potential for a new startup considering their past track records. We'll keep you posted and see if their future efforts lead to even more success in the RPG arena.

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by Gabriel Putnam    
Sources: [Reuters]

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