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Kim Phan leaves Blizzard as famed developer continues losing talent

Melany M. June 20, 2019

Blizzard’s global esports director Kim Phan has announced her resignation.

Blizzard is losing another high profile esports executive. Kim Phan, now the company’s former global esports director, made the announcement through the Team Liquid forums.

Phan is leaving Blizzard after 13 years. She started her career with the famed game developer as a producer in online technologies. Through the years, Phan worked in different roles until she landed in the esports department.

According to the announcement, Phan finished her time with Blizzard on June 14 and will pursue other endeavors in the gaming industry. She didn’t offer further explanations about her decision to leave Blizzard, but took the time to send a message to her former co-workers.

“As I hang up my sword and shield, I look forward to a bright future and wish all my Blizzard friends and family the very best,” Phan said.

Despite her departure from the company, Phan said she would be attending BlizzCon as a fan. The convention organized by Blizzard is set to start on November 1.

Phan follows the steps of Blizzard commissioner Nate Nanzer, who left the company one month ago in May. Days after his departure, Nanzer announced he would be joining Epic Games where he will oversee Fortnite’s new esports initiatives.

Nanzer and Phan’s resignations might be just the start. According to a report by Dexerto, several high-profile executives could be looking to exit Blizzard.

The company has a complicated relationship with its employees. Back in February, Blizzard laid off 8% of its personnel despite reporting record-breaking revenues in 2018.

The developer also canceled the Heroes of the Storm Pro League, an esports competition that included such notable organizations as Team Liquid, Dignitas, and Fnatic.

Alleged questionable decision making may be hitting directly at employee morale. According to several reports, the workers at Blizzard blame senior management and their increasing focus on commercialization over community building.

Blizzard may be focusing on putting esports in the mainstream and capturing new viewers instead of nurturing the current audience, and this direction could potentially lead the company astray.

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