Blizzard confirms Allen Adham departure

Game studio denies co-founder's exit was a response to Vivendi's decision to maintain ownership.

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As first revealed on Warcraft fan site http://www.worldofwar.net/worldofwar.net, Blizzard co-founder and vice president Allen Adham has left the company. A Blizzard spokesperson confirmed the departure, but denied it was related to Vivendi's recent reaffirmation of ownership of the developer, as some have speculated. The spokesperson said Adham stepped down due to the cumulative effects of "working the long hours and doing the game crunch for many years." The spokesperson added "he's not cutting ties completely," and will remain a consultant to Blizzard.

In an e-mail Adham circulated internally to his now-former colleagues, he expressed a desire to pursue a position in finance. He emphasized that there was no single company he was leaving Blizzard to work for, nor any single business he had committed to starting.

Adham co-founded Blizzard in 1991 with partners Michael Morhaime and Frank Pearce. That team grew the company into a powerhouse studio known for creating best-sellers-- it only took two weeks for Diablo II to sell a million copies. While the company's success was duplicated in many markets, its products seemed to have special resonance with Korean gamers. Staffers would avoid wearing Blizzard-branded clothing while on trips to the Asian nation for fear of being overwhelmed by fans.

Recently, Blizzard has been beset with numerous resignations. While there seems to be little to no bad blood between the former and current staff, the sheer number of departures arguably casts an ominous glow over what remains of the Blizzard empire.

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