Blizzard Entertainment Co-Founder Frank Pearce has announced that he will be retiring from the company. Pearce, who has been with the company for over 28 years, is just the second of the co-founders to depart the company, as former President and CEO Mike Morhaime announced that he would step down from his position last year. This leaves Allen Adham as the last of the founders in the company, although the current President and CEO is J. Allen Brack, who was handpicked by Morhaime himself.
Pearce revealed his resignation in a lengthy post on Blizzard’s site, briefly reflecting on his amazing career with the company while thanking everyone that he has worked with. “The time has come for me to step away from Blizzard and pass the torch to the next generation of leaders….Words cannot express the gratitude I feel to have been involved with Blizzard, our games, our employees, and most importantly our community. 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.”
In the same post, J. Allen Brack spoke fondly about Pearce, whom he refers to as one of his heroes: “When I moved into my new position last year, Frank stepped into an advisory role to help with the transition, specifically working with Ray Gresko and me on our games, culture, and the future of Blizzard. His support has been invaluable to us and to say we’re going to miss him is an understatement.
Pearce, along with Morhaime and Adham took a huge gamble way back in 1991 and formed there own video game studio, Silicon and Synapse. They had little to no money, but there passion and hard work made all the difference. The SNES game, The Lost Vikings, was a moderate hit and kept the company afloat for a couple of years. However, it was in 1994 when they created what would become the flagship series of the company with Warcraft: Orcs and Humans.
From there, Pearce, Adham, and Morhaime made one more name change to the company, to Blizzard Entertainment, and has since become one of the biggest video game studios in the world. Most of the titles they’ve released has gone onto enjoy enormous success including World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, and Overwatch. Pearce was the acting Vice President for most of his tenure at Blizzard, assisting Morhaime and Adham who were the CEO and Executive Producer/SVP respectively.
Pearce did not state if he would have any future video game development endeavors, although he did mention that he would try to enjoy some his hobbies a bit more now that he has some free time. While we are sad to see him leave the company, he more than deserves his retirement.