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Posts with tag mikemorhaime

AGDC: How to rule the World (of Warcraft)

I'm attending the Austin Game Developers Conference this week, and today's big event is a keynote by Mike Morhaime, president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. Titled How to Rule the World (of Warcraft): Ten Lessons, I doubt it covers guild management, PvP tactics, or farming for gold -- but I'm certainly interested in Morhaime's thoughts on the operation and administration of the Warcraft universe. Keep reading for a play-by-play of the keynote!

9:25 AM CST: The ballroom is filling up, and everyone is waiting for the show to get started.

9:36 AM CST: The ballroom is working its way towards full, all of us waiting on the man of the hour to show.

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Filed under: Blizzard

The voices of Azeroth

Last week we looked at who made the soundtrack of Azeroth (and I heard-- and saw-- those very people at the Video Games Live BlizzCon concert), and this week, olanthe on WoW Ladies wants to know who's behind the other, very memorable part of WoW's audio: the voices.

Unfortunately, just like the music, Blizzard doesn't actually credit the talent part by part, so while it's easy to find a list of who's voiced something in game (the IMDB entry is probably the most comprehensive, as it contains all the names from the booklets to both shipping WoW and Burning Crusade), finding out who's done what is a little harder. Tony Jay did the intros for all the races, and Cam Clarke has been pegged as the male Blood Elf (among others, including Nexus-Prince Shaffar and Medivh). Voice actress Erin Fitzgerald has done quite a few voices in Burning Crusade, including Dorothy and the Wicked Witch, as well as Sarannis and the Essence of Desire in the Black Temple. Kath Soucie, another well known voice actress, has also done voices in BC, as has Michael Dorn (yes, Worf).

But most surprising on the list is probably the sheer number of Blizzard employees-- some, like Samwise Didier, Chris Metzen and Mike Morhaime, are well known, but others, like Tracy Bush, Derek Duke, and Glen Stafford, are usually working on the music of Azeroth. And even others-- Michele Arko, and I'm sure a few other names that I just don't recognize, work in completely different departments of Blizzard, from QA to Administration. So it seems like they invite a lot of their local employees to come in and record voices for their games, and not until recently, with the Burning Crusade, have they turned more often to more high profile actors.

Unfortunately, that doesn't exactly answer the question of who the female Night Elf is. But especially for the shipping game, odds are that it's someone who works at Blizzard, not a professional voice actor.

Update: You guys are the best. A reader of ours is friends with the Night Elf voice, so here she is: Debi Mae West. And yes, her goods really are of the highest quality. Apparently, she was also Meryl in Metal Gear Solid.

Blizz Prez Mike Morhaime, #4 on PC World's Most Important People on the Web

As you might imagine, we here at WoW Insider love World of Warcraft. It's the greatest thing to come along since at least Diablo. Blizzard is a great company, and when it comes to computer gaming, you could solidly make the argument that nobody does it better than they do.

But when PC World announced their "Most Important People on the Web" list today, I was surprised to see, right there in between the inventor of Bittorrent and Jimbo Wales of Wikipedia, Mike Morhaime, President of Blizzard Entertainment as the 4th Most Important Person on the Internet (a big jump up from a previous list). PC World cites WoW's huge player base and Blizzard's profits of $1.5 billion a year (not to mention all the money floating around WoW's black market services), but does the president of a videogame company really deserve to be two slots down from Steve Jobs, in between the man who basically created an anonymous peer-to-peer sharing system and the man who's developing the definitive online collection of knowledge?

Call me cynical, but I say no. WoW may have influence over a lot of people, but Blizzard is using that influence to nerf druids and tweak raid bosses, not affect the Internet population. Then again, the guy did appear in animated form on South Park, and Jimbo Wales has never done that. We should all know by now that these lists are just a cheap way of encouraging discussion (and attention), but Morhaime's inclusion on the list means that WoW's ascent into our culture isn't done yet.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Interview with Mike Morhaime

The San Jose Mercury news managed to snag an interview with Blizzard Entertainment's president, Mike Morhaime. This doesn't contain lots of news about the upcoming Burning Crusade expansion, like the recent interviews with Jeff Kaplan and Tom Chilton, but does provide a broader-picture view of what's happening back at Blizzard entertainment. How has money and success impacted the company? Well, it's a bit much to summarize, so go check it out yourself.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

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