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Blizzard co-founder Mike Morhaime to leave in April

Blizzard co-founder Mike Morhaime is leaving Activision on April 7th, 2019.

Blizzard Entertainment’s longtime president and original co-founder, Mike Morhaime, stepped down from his senior role last October and was replaced by former executive producer and vice president for World of Warcraft, J Allen Brack. Now, as revealed via a securities exchange filing (thanks, GI.biz), it appears Morhaime is departing the company completely at the beginning of April 2019, bringing his 28-year relationship with the company he co-founded to an end.

"As previously disclosed, on October 3, 2018 Michael Morhaime entered into an agreement with Activision Blizzard, pursuant to which he would provide strategic advice to the Company in an advisory capacity," the brief statement said. "Mr. Morhaime’s employment with the Company as a strategic advisor will conclude on April 7, 2019."

There’s been a lot of change at Activision recently. Activision Blizzard recently parted ways with its CFO, Spencer Neumann, and re-appointed its previous CFO, Denis Durkin, to the position instead. 

In the wake of Blizzard’s reveal of mobile game Diablo Immortal, Activision-Blizzard’s shares tumbled, and Blizzard experienced an unprecedented backlash when it closed BlizzCon with the news that Diablo was coming to mobile. Almost 45,000 fans have added their names to a petition calling on Blizzard to cancel the project.

Activision Blizzard recently released its Q3 2018 financial results and reported revenues of $1.51bn (£1.16bn). The firm expected revenues of $1.49bn so it’s up compared to its prior outlook but slightly down year-on-year as it made $1.61bn (1.24bn) during Q3 2017. Breaking down the revenue by company, then-CFO Neumann revealed Activision’s Q3 revenue reached $397m (£305m), with the "key contributors [being] Call of Duty digital in-game revenue and Destiny 2: Forsaken, although the latter underperformed [their] expectations".

Meanwhile, Blizzard has been performing extremely well, with revenue up 20 per cent year-on-year thanks to the launch of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth on August 14th. The expansion broke a record by selling 3.4m units on Day One. With King revenue down 4 per cent year-on-year and operating income down 12 per cent year-on-year, it seems like Blizzard is the driving force for the whole company.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond.

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