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Posts with tag morhaime

Morhaime says moonkin hatchling available this month

Yes, that's right. During the ATVI earnings report conference call today, Mike Morhaime, president of Blizzard Entertainment, announced that the Moonkin Hatchling will be available for purchase later this month, as he had already stated at BlizzCon. In addition, 50 percent of the proceeds from the sale will go to charity. The last time Blizzard did something similar, it raised $1.1 million for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Can the hatchling possibly dethrone the Pandaren Monk as the most adorable charity money generator?

Gregg's speculation on whether or not we'd see more charity pets seems confirmed. Were you already planning on picking one up, and if not, does this news make it any more likely?

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2010: Moonkin Hatchling mini-pet going on sale in November

There has been some data-mining in the past couple weeks which found mention of a Moonkin Hatchling in the beta game files. During the BlizzCon opening ceremonies, Mike Morhaime (Blizzard CEO) announced that this new vanity pet will be available for sale from the Blizzard store coming in November. We still don't have any idea how adorable this pet will look, but if it's anything like the other hatchling pets the cuteness will be epic.

They also announced that their Pandaren Monk pet when it donated all proceeds to charity when it was first available made $1.1 million for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. We're curious if this is a sign of more charity vanity pets to come in the future as that will make a serious impact for almost any cause.


BlizzCon 2010 is upon us! WoW Insider has all the latest news and information. We're bringing you liveblogging of the WoW panels, interviews with WoW celebrities and attendees and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, BlizzCon

Activision conference call: WoW still at 11.5 million subscribers

The OC Register has a great breakdown of what Activision said on their earnings conference call today. Perhaps the biggest WoW-related stat to come out of the call is that the number of subscribers to the game has apparently leveled off: they're holding steady at 11.5 million. Which is nothing to cough at, but it's what we were told four months ago, and if, as Ghostcrawler claimed, the numbers are still going up, then they're going up very, very slowly. Morhaime says that numbers are growing everywhere, but that China will be a main focus of growth this year as Wrath of the Lich King releases there soon.

In non-WoW Blizzard news, the Starcraft 2 beta will start this summer and will be the "final" phase of development for that game. The new Battle.net interface will be tested then as well, so keep an eye out for that. And Blizzard expects big things there in China also -- NetEase, the company that will now be handling Wrath's launch, is already set up to run both Diablo III and Starcraft 2 out there, so it'll all be under one umbrella.

In short, there's no really bad news from Blizzard, but no really great news either -- the best news to come out of the call is that even in the slow economy lately, Blizzard is holding steady. Not a bad thing at all, but we probably won't see any spikes in player interest in Blizzard or WoW until they announce what's next on the content plate, whether that be at BlizzCon or before.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Expansions

Morhaime: "We'd like to be doing regular expansions"


MTV's Multiplayer blog has an interview with Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime (who is apparently sitting pretty with the elven ladies after last week's big expansion launch). He says that he sees no end to the expansions -- Blizzard has told us before that as long as they have ideas (and players), they'll keep making content for this game. He also says that they're happy with the subscription model in the United States -- although we'd imagine that both of those things might get rethought if Blizzard's subscription numbers were going the other way. For now, though, while things are headed up, Morhaime sounds pretty happy with the way things are.

Finally, they ask about an iPhone app, and Morhaime says Blizzard is working on connecting mobile devices up to the game, but he also specifically says they're not looking at a stand-alone app. So maybe a mobile version of the Armory? I'd love to see an iPhone app, as we've said before, with mail or auction house functionality, but maybe Blizzard doesn't see the majority of their audience on the iPhone anyway. Then again, their Mac guys always need something to do...

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Insider Show live this afternoon


Yes, the WoW Insider Show is returning to the virtual airwaves of WoW Radio this afternoon, and after our 50th episode last week, we're ready to stop celebrating and get back to work. Amanda Dean from this very blog will join Turpster and I, and we'll chat about all the biggest stories in the World of Warcraft this past week, including the whole BlizzCon fiasco (and Morhaime's apology), the big downranking change, and all of the other big news coming out of the Wrath beta (which I finally got invited to, by the way).

Plus, you can expect to hear me brag that I was right about potion sickness, and Amanda is apparently going through a tough Arena breakup, so listen for that as well. We'll also be reading your emails as usual -- feel free to drop us a note at theshow@wow.com, and as usual, we'll be in the IRC channel during the show, at irc.mmoirc.com in the #wowradio channel.

It all kicks off at 3:30pm Eastern (8:30pm GMT) in just a few hours from now -- definitely join us over at WoW Radio and listen in, it should be fun.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Fan stuff, Humor, Leveling, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW Insider Show

Blizzard wins the Oscars of online games

As Oscar time gets closer, some of us gamers may start wishing for awards of our own. Mass Effect was at least as good as There Will Be Blood, right?

Luckily, on February 7th, we gamers got our own red carpet show, as The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences hosted the 11th annual Interactive Achievement Awards in conjunction with the DICE Summit at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. Blizzard, of course, managed to snag a few rewards of their own. Not only did the Burning Crusade pick up Massively Multi-player Game of the Year, but Blizzard President Mike Morhaime was inducted into the Academy's Hall of Fame.

Gamespot had video coverage of the event, which you can check out here, or if you'd rather just cut to the meaty stuff, the Academy's website has a PDF with a list of the winners here. You can also check out some wider commentary on all the awards from our friends at Joystiq here.

We'll expect trophies for Wrath of the Lich King and Starcraft II next year!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, The Burning Crusade

More Blizzard news from the D.I.C.E. summit

Blizzard Entertainment logoWired's games blog brings us more news from D.I.C.E., with word of a "never before seen" presentation about Blizzard's canceled games over the years. Some of the games were later released by other companies, but others... Well, if you can remember anything about them, you may be a true Blizzard fan, and we'd have to kneel in homage to you.

But really, some of the games sounded pretty awesome by the title alone. Around Blizzard these days, Nomad refers to a new human unit from the upcoming Starcraft II, but it seems at the presentation in question, it was on the list of canceled games accompanied by a picture of two giant Zeppelins. And we, of course, are all about the Zeppelins, so the game would have obviously been cool, if it had Zeppelins.

Starcraft:Ghost, amazingly enough, didn't make the list of games, which brings up the question of whether there's still plans to resurrect it - or if Blizzard, like Wired's blogger suggests, just wants to forget about it altogether.

Finally, no list of canceled Blizzard games would be complete without a reference to Warcraft Adventures. I was always disappointed that this one got canceled, being a big fan of the old adventure games, and it looks like I even have allies at Blizzard on this point. But the WoW team seems to like to fit the game's story in wherever they can, so it wasn't all in vain, right?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Mike Morhaime on the Activision Blizzard merger

Incgamers.com got to sit down with Blizzard President and CEO Mike Morhaime to chat about the big news this weekend that Blizzard is merging with Activision. He basically echoes Blizzard's FAQ on the issue, and says that nothing at all will change-- "if I do my job properly," he says, "then players won't notice any difference."

The deal came about with Vivendi's full consent and interest-- Activision is apparently aiming to be the number one game publisher, and bringing Blizzard both under their wing and up into their name will help them do that. Morhaime calls it a "merger of equals," and says that while there's a chance Blizzard might look into Activision's experience if they choose to make a game up their alley (i.e., a console game, but don't get excited, Morhaime's speaking hypothetically), generally, the two companies will just keep doing what they're doing.

Morhaime also laughs when Incgamers asks how this will affect development of Diablo III, but laugh is all he does-- nice try! Otherwise, Morhaime holds that the merger will have no affect on Blizzard's games or development-- other than the name change, he says, it's business as usual.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Interviews

The Blizzard staff goes to the movies


So very funny. Take a few parts Blizzplanet Blizzard staff pictures page, and combine with a JibJab Flash app that lets you put your own pictures in, and you've got the makings of greatness seen above: Blizzard CM Drysc, starring in his own action movie as a rogue cop short on sanity and long on ammo, complete with cameo appearances by Nethaera, Feathers, Mike Morhaime (he's the boss, naturally), Metzen, Eyonix, and all the other Blizzard faces.

Oh and there's more-- here's Neth and Drysc on the dance floor, a preview of what we'll see at the next BlizzCon, and Eyonix and Drysc... well, you might not want to watch that last one.

Ivenoml of Hellscream put these all together, and salute to you, sir or madam, because these are darn funny. For their part, the Blizzard staff enjoyed them, too-- we're told by Eyonix that they're being passed around the company as we speak. So, so funny. Now we definitely need an item in WotLK called Unnecessary Force.

[ via incgamers ]

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor, BlizzCon

Blizzard setting up shop in Ireland

Blizzard is apparently setting up a fourth support center, this one in Cork, Ireland. Currently, they've got bases in Southern California (where the main company and developers are located), Austin, Texas and Paris, France. But now an Irish newswire is saying that Blizzard plans to have another center in Cork, where they'll hire 100 people total over the next three years to support the European realms.

And Cork is apparently happy to have them-- Motorola and Bourns Electronics have recently closed up shop there, leaving IT employees looking for new jobs. Ireland is apparently a hotspot of digital content as well, or at least it wants to be. I had no idea-- Irish companies, if you're hiring and willing to fly me out there, let me know! I'd love working in the country of Guinness.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

Inside Blizzard's plans, past and future

Wandering Goblin has a cool piece up entitled "25 Things You Didn't Know About WoW." Now, it's not really titled correctly, because many Blizzard fans will at least know a few of the things, and the truth is that they're not all about WoW anyway. But it is interesting reading, especially if you aren't super familiar with the background behind the Blue.

Fr'instance, when WoW released, Mike Morhaime says that every available employee was working on it. And production on Burning Crusade started about six months after that, when Blizzard determined that WoW was "stable." Other interesting tidbits (specifically from the recent WWI) include the fact that China is WoW's biggest market (people there pay by the hour, not by the month), and that Blizzard expects WoW to last them at least 10 years. So we may still be grinding murlocs in 2014.

It's also interesting that Blizzard says they don't plan budget limits for games-- either they're going to make a good game, or they don't bother making the game at all. Most companies probably wouldn't have ditched Starcraft: Ghost so late in the process, but Blizzard seems totally and completely committed to releasing a great game or not releasing a game at all. Interesting tactic, but then again it's worked for them so far.

[ via WorldofWar.net ]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, News items

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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