CALABASAS, Calif.– December 12, 2008– The Academy of Interactive Arts&Sciences (AIAS) proudly announced today that Mike Morhaime, the president, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment ® , will be the eleventh visionary member inducted into its prestigious Hall of Fame. As one of the organization’s highest honors, candidates are annually voted on by the Academy’s illustrious Board of Directors. Induction into the Hall of Fame is bestowed upon individuals who’ve contributed to a significant advancement within the industry, while demonstrating proven success and leadership.
As the eleventh inductee, Morhaime will be honored for his efforts and contributions to the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) space through Blizzard Entertainment’s spectacularly popular World of Warcraft ® , as well as the tremendous success of the company’s Warcraft ® , StarCraft ® and Diablo ® series. In particular, World of Warcraft has cemented Morhaime’s influence and impact on the multi-billion dollar interactive entertainment industry; it is the world’s largest online game, with more than 9.3 million subscribers. Morhaime and Blizzard Entertainment are recognized for creating an MMOG that expanded the traditionally hardcore audience of the genre to also include the broader casual-gaming audience.
“This is a great honor, and I’m proud to receive it,” said Morhaime.“The success that Blizzard Entertainment has had over the years would not have been possible without the enthusiasm and support of players around the world, and the passion and dedication of our employees, so I thank all of them for contributing to this achievement.”
Morhaime will join an elite group of 10 other interactive entertainment industry luminaries in the AIAS Hall of Fame: Trip Hawkins (Electronic Arts), Peter Molyneux (Lionhead Studios), Yu Suzuki (Sega of America), Will Wright (Maxis), John Carmack (id Software), Hironobu Sakaguchi (Square Enix), Sid Meier (Firaxis Games), Shigeru Miyamoto (Nintendo), Richard Garriott (Origin Systems), and Dan Bunten - known later in life as Danielle Bunten Berry (Ozark Softscape).
At this year’s 11th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards ® , taking place on February 7, 2008 at Red Rock Resort&Casino in Las Vegas, Morhaime will be presented the honor by Dr. Ray Muzyka, CEO of BioWare Corp. In addition, Morhaime is also part of the dynamic speaker line-up during the upcoming D.I.C.E Summit ® taking place in conjunction with the Awards.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft and the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo series, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. ( www.blizzard.com), a division of Vivendi Games, is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard’s track record includes ten #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Battle.net ® , is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active users.
About the Academy of Interactive Arts&Sciences
The Academy of Interactive Arts&Sciences (AIAS) was founded in 1996 as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of the interactive arts. The Academy’s mission is to promote and advance common interests in the worldwide interactive entertainment community; recognize outstanding achievements in the interactive arts and sciences; and conduct an annual awards show (Interactive Achievement Awards ® ) to enhance awareness of the interactive art form. The Academy also strives to provide a voice for individuals in the interactive entertainment community. In 2002 the Academy created the D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit ® , a once yearly conference dedicated to exploring approaches to the creative process and artistic expression as they uniquely apply to the development of interactive entertainment. The Academy has over 10,000 members, with the board comprised of senior executives from the major videogame companies including Bioware/Pandemic, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony and Ubisoft. More information on AIAS and the D.I.C.E. Summit ® can be found at http://www.interactive.org and http://www.dicesummit.org
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Wendy Zaas / Angelina Duran
310-854-8148 / 310-854-8168
Geri Gordon Miller
Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences