Micah Whipple, AKA Bashiok, has announced his departure from Blizzard on July 31st, 2015.
Bashiok has been a long-time staple of Blizzard and of the World of Warcraft community. He joined the company in 2003 under the name Drysc and has worked as a member of both the World of Warcraft and the Diablo III community teams.
I began working at Blizzard way back in October of 2003, and every day of my experience here has been shared with you, the players, and content creators, artists, bloggers, AddOn authors, podcasters, streamers, forum trolls, and — man, anyone remember the old Off-Topic forum back in the day? That place was just absolutely cuckoo bananas.
Like most of the company’s prominent community managers, Bashiok has come in for his share of praise and criticism. Many players feel like he comes across as mocking and abrasive, with a disdain for the community, while others greatly appreciate his forward, straight-to-the-point manner and prefer that he doesn’t sugar-coat his words.
Anyway, Blizzard — and the community that surrounds it — has defined almost my entire adult life, and I am just so absolutely grateful to all of my friends here for having such an incredible and positive impact on who I am, and who I am yet to become. I don’t think I’ve had to make any decisions as difficult as the one to leave Blizzard, but a new opportunity has come my way, and I’ve decided to take it.
His decision to leave Blizzard comes as a surprise; with a major announcement for World of Warcraft on the horizon, the loss of one of its most vocal and visible Community Managers has some questioning how much Bashiok’s decision to leave has to do with the upcoming expansion.
Others wonder exactly what new opportunity that Mr. Whipple has found.
While I think it’s all still sinking in, the other day I realized I actually get to be surprised by Blizzard announcements and releases again. Which, as a lifelong fan and rabid gamer it makes me giddy thinking about being able to sit in the audience at BlizzCon, watching a stream, or reading the newest blog posts, and seeing whatever’s in store next — for the first time.
Mr. Whipple is not the first big name to leave Blizzard for greener pastures; it has been less than two years since Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street, WoW’s Lead Systems Designer, left the company to work for Riot Games as one of the Lead Game Designers for the wildly popular League of Legends.
Chief Creative Officer Rob Pardo left only just a year ago and Paul Sams, formerly Chief Operating Officer, moved to Ready at Dawn as Chief Executive Officer earlier this year.
I’m looking forward to what’s next, and wishing you a life of joy, insatiable curiosity, and happy gaming.
While it is unclear as to why Bashiok has left Blizzard at this point in time, no one can question the rich legacy he leaves behind. Whether you found his posts to be a breath of fresh air or an insult to the community’s collective intelligence, it is difficult to argue that Bashiok has been a driving force behind the Blizzard Community for many years. His departure will have a profound impact on the community at large.
No, Bashiok. Thank you!
How do you feel about Bashiok leaving? Do you remember him fondly, or are you glad to see him go? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!