Bye-bye, Bashiok

A few hours ago, Community Manager Bashiok announced today is his last day, that he is leaving WoW. There is nothing startling or surprising about his departure, he has been with Blizzard for nearly 12 years, a very long time in the world of virtual game design and development.

I suppose I am neither disheartened nor happy about Bashiok’s — aka Micah Whipple — departure. I wish him well wherever he goes from here. He has not been a flamboyant presence in the forums, especially lately, but he has had some notable impact. In particular, it was he who made the ill-fated statement leading people to believe flying would be  reinstated in “the first major patch” in WoD. In retrospect, I think he was the designated “bad news preparer” on the whole flying debacle. He walked point on the subject until the final “no flying” announcement by Hazzikostas. And I believe his statements on the matter up until that announcement reflected a sharp opinion divide within Blizz. It was telling to me that Hazzikostas, not Bashiok, made the no-fly announcement, indicating who was on which side of the internal debate. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and attribute his “major patch” words to wishful thinking on his part, in the face of what he knew was ultimately a losing battle.

At any rate, thanks for doing the best you could, Bashiok, and good luck to you.

Clearly, the end of a major expansion is a good time for people who have worked a project a long time to leave if they intend to do so. It’s a natural break point. And Bashiok’s departure makes me wonder if we are in for another round of key personnel changes at Blizz, especially on the WoW project. If you will recall, that happened at the end of Mists, just as WoD was being announced, and in my opinion it was one of the major reasons WoD turned out so badly. With the WoW franchise becoming less and less important to Activision Blizzard, my hunch is that there will be much more turnover than in the past, that people will want to establish a few good lines on their CV and then move on.

Bashiok may be the last of the “true believers” on the WoW project.

Short post today, I am need of a long weekend! See you on Monday.

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

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