Co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment Frank Pearce has retired after 28 years of service to the company he helped to build decades ago.
Blizzard’s co-founder announced he was stepping down as the company’s Chief Development Officer in a statement released earlier today. Pearce thanked fellow founders Michael Morhaime and Allen Adham for the chance to create what has become one of the leading developers in the video game industry.
“The time has come for me to step away from Blizzard and pass the torch to the next generation of leaders,” Pearce said.
Fellow UCLA graduates Pearce, Morhaime, and Adham founded Blizzard on February 8, 1991. The company was originally known as Silicon & Synapse, Inc. and started as a company focused on porting existing games between different platforms before beginning to develop their own projects. Pearce served as a lead programmer on several of Blizzard’s key early titles, including Diablo and StarCraft. These games would become the foundation for the blockbuster company’s future success.
Pearce isn’t the first of the trio of founders to step away from the business. Morhaime stepped down as Blizzard CEO in October 2018, and Adham left the company in 2006. Adham later returned as a member of the Executive Leadership Team in 2016 after expressing regret for having left.
Blizzard’s current CEO J. Allen Brack also wrote his own statement in which he expressed gratitude for Pearce’s contributions and wished the co-founder farewell.
“Frank might be hanging up his armor now, but because of the influence he’s had in helping to build Blizzard and the connections he’s made with so many of us, veterans and new recruits alike who are all carrying the same torch forward, he’ll always be here with us,” Brack said.
Pearce concluded his statement with a message directed at the Blizzard community, thanking them and leaving everyone with one final piece of advice.
“Play nice, play fair,” Pearce said.