Blizzard Entertainment co-founder and former CEO Mike Morhaime has set up a new game company called Dreamhaven, and as the company’s announcement post puts it, “a host” of industry veterans have come along with him for the journey- many of whom are also fellow Blizzard alumni.
“I’m excited to team up with such talented people who care deeply about games and their communities,” Morhaime says. “I’ve always believed in the power of games to bring people together regardless of backgrounds or boundaries. With Dreamhaven, we look forward to creating and sharing new experiences with players everywhere.”
The company, which will be developing and publishing its own original games, is starting out the gate with two internal studios. The first is Moonshot Games, led jointly by Jason Chayes (who has previously worked at Walt Disney’s games division, been a Senior Director at EA, and was an Executive Producer at Blizzard, where he led the Hearthstone team); Dustin Browder (a twenty-five-year industry vet who’s worked in creative lead positions on games and IP such as StarCraft 2, Heroes of the Storm, Command and Conquer, and The Lord of the Rings); and Ben Thompson (who was creative director on Hearthstone and has always worked on the World of Warcraft card game, Dungeons and Dragons, and Magic: The Gathering). The studio boasts other “seasoned developers who’ve collectively worked on some of gaming’s most popular franchises.”
“Dreamhaven has assembled some amazing people, folks who truly share our values, and we’re really excited to begin this next adventure together,” says Chayes. “Though it’s very early days, when we think about Moonshot, we imagine a studio that celebrates curiosity and courage. We aspire to be bold in our approach, and we think the best way to do that is to create a culture centered around trust. That’s at the heart of how we’d like to work together and also how we’d like to connect with players once we’re a bit further down the road.”
The second of Dreamhaven’s two internal studios is Secret Door, led by Chris Sigaty (Executive Producer on Hearthstone, StarCraft 2, and Heroes of the Storm, and Lead Producer on Warcraft 3); Alan Dabiri (who’s worked on Warcraft 3, StarCraft 2, and Heroes of the Storm); and Eric Dodds (game director of Hearthstone, having also worked on World of Warcraft and StarCraft). The team at Secret Door also consists of “highly talented developers with extensive industry experience” who are “beginning to explore new game experiences together.”
“The amount of game development and publishing experience at Dreamhaven combined with the camaraderie between our studios is already providing an unparalleled environment for creative collaboration,” says Sigaty. “At Secret Door, we are passionate about bringing players together in positive ways while building a sustainable home for creators. Dreamhaven is providing everything we need to head into uncharted territory. We cannot wait for others to join us on our journey!”
It’s early days for Dreamhaven and its two studios still, so it’s going to be a while yet before we get to see what their first projects will be. But given the talent at the company, it’s hard not to be excited about their potential.