Mike Morhaime extended interview from Elder Sign - TableTop ep 11

Uploaded by geekandsundry on Aug 23, 2012


Hi, I'm Mike Morhaime, CEO and president of Blizzard
Was also one of the co-founders.

Well, while I was at UCLA, I became very good friends with
Allen Adham, who was studying computer science and
He convinced me to leave my job at Western Digital.
I graduated about six months before Allen.
And the two of us went into business.
And Allen also recruited another friend from UCLA,
Frank Pearce.
February 1991, Blizzard Entertainment was started.
We called ourselves Silicon & Synapse.
My dad was--
he really cautioned me against leaving a great job at Western
Digital and going and doing this thing that was totally
risky and unproven.
But, at the end of the day, my parents were both very
Now they totally follow Blizzard.
They come to all the BlizzCons and save all the articles
about the company.
We had our theories about how eventually
technology would advance.
And there would be this whole convergence of 3D graphics and
alternate realities and virtual worlds
and things like that.
But I don't think we imagined that it would become as mass
marketed as it is today.
We have a lot of creative guys at the company.
We're all sci-fi and fantasy fans.
We're very inspired by all of the people
that came before us.
Well most people know Blizzard for World of Warcraft,
StarCraft, and Diablo, and also Warcraft, the RTS games.
There are a lot of games we started that
never quite made it.
Probably the most famous of those are StarCraft Ghost, a
Warcraft Adventure Game that we started several years back.
There's a point at which we have to make a decision--
how much effort it's going to take to make the game into a
Blizzard quality game that we're going to be proud of.
Some games don't ever quite make it.
When we first got into game making in '91, story really
wasn't important at all.
But as games became deeper, I think we really felt that
suspension of disbelief and giving people a reason for why
they needed to complete these objectives just made the games
more engaging.
I definitely consider myself a gamer.
Right now I'm playing StarCraft II and World of
Warcraft probably the most on the computer side of things.
And maybe my favorite game of all time is poker.
So growing up, I'd be very competitive with my brother.
And we'd play a lot of board games, card games.
We had a game called Double Solitaire that's really
popular in my family.
My mom still beats us.
BlizzCon came about following the
release of World of Warcraft.
So we came out with World of Warcraft in 2004.
And the community had grown so large so fast.
It's a lot of fun.
It's an awful lot of work to prepare for it.
And so in a year like we're having in 2012, where we have
multiple products that we're getting ready to launch, we
sort of have to kind of scale back.
So there won't be a BlizzCon in 2012.
But it'll be back with a vengeance in '13.
I'm actually in a heavy metal band.
While we were working on Warcraft III, a bunch of guys
at the office, we'd get together and just play cover
songs in our spare time.
Somebody had the idea, hey, why don't we get this band
that you guys have to record a metal song?
And so we took one of the songs that we'd written, an
original song, we changed all the words to make it
And we called it "Power of the Horde." And that was a track
that went on the Warcraft III expansion.
So fast forward to our first BlizzCon.
We wrote two more songs and practiced like crazy and
opened for the Offspring at BlizzCon.
So that's kind of how it started.
Gaming's the best.