Omar Gonzalez Leaves Blizzard and Joins Dreamhaven
Omar Gonzalez, one of the senior software engineers that worked on the early prototype of Classic WoW has left Activision Blizzard and joined Secret Door, one of the studios owned by Dreamhaven, Mike Morhaime's new gaming company.

This news comes from Kevin Jordan, one of the original designers for World of Warcraft, which replied to a community question: Where is Omar?


Omar Gonzalez started working on World of Warcraft in 2003 and worked his way up to become Principal Software Engineer at Blizzard Entertainment. In an interview with xDrale, translated by Wowhead, this is what Game Director Ion Hazzikostas said about Omar:
One of them, an engineer named Omar Gonzalez, who is on the Classic team, tried the method of taking the modern client, the modern server and teaching it to interpret the old 1.12 classic data. He kind of locked himself away for a few weeks, and came out with something that was a prototype--it was very rough, contained tons of bugs, the world wasn't fully rendered, but it was the original classic world, pre-Cataclysm. It had the original skills and talents, and we knew there's was a ton of work to do, but we felt like we realized for the first time, "we can do this."



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This article was originally published in forum thread: Omar Gonzalez Leaves Blizzard and Joins Dreamhaven, New Battle.Net Avatars started by Lumy View original post
Comments 202 Comments
  1. Askyl's Avatar
    Well, that sucks.
  1. SirFinlot's Avatar
    I am kind of offended by the lack of Murloc Female Portraits! Are Blizzard bigots and prefer mammal humanoids?

    Hell, they don't ever show support for widowers! Where is "Mankrik's Wife" portrait?
  1. Kralljin's Avatar
    The Brain drain is real.
  1. Mic_128's Avatar
    Another one leaves Blizzard
    Another one leaves Blizzard
    And another one gone, and another one gone
    Another one leaves Blizzard, yeah
    Hey, they're gonna leave Blizz too
    Another one leaves Blizzard

    How do you think they're going to make games
    Without devs, when they're gone
    They took us for everything that we had
    And made devs quit on their own
    Are you happy, are you satisfied?
    How long til all the talent leave?
    Out of the doorway the game's R.I.P.
    To the sound of costs cut
    Look out!
  1. McNeil's Avatar
    Thats actually sad to hear. Omar did a great job with Classic and was kind of the face for it. I can see why Morhaime would be interested in poaching more people like him for a hopefully ''Old Blizzard 2.0''.

    On the plus side I get to use Waifumane as my B.Net avatar
  1. Absintheminded's Avatar
    This is like classic rock bands that have member turnover, and at some point you gotta ask: is this just now a cover band playing the hits of people that came before?
  1. Santti's Avatar
    I can totally understand leaving. Blizzard is a huge triple-A company now. It's priorities has shifted to pleasing the shareholders. No doubt Blizzard has the same abuses towards video game developers all triple-A's have. As in, the absolutely ridiculous crunches, with shit pay. Some more creative and maybe more adventurous developers probably get tired of it. Dreamhaven is likely quite enticing, because of it. A change of scenery. A fresh start. With familiar people.
  1. Echorausch's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mic_128 View Post
    Another one leaves Blizzard
    Another one leaves Blizzard
    And another one gone, and another one gone
    Another one leaves Blizzard, yeah
    Hey, they're gonna leave Blizz too
    Another one leaves Blizzard

    How do you think they're going to make games
    Without devs, when they're gone
    They took us for everything that we had
    And made devs quit on their own
    Are you happy, are you satisfied?
    How long til all the talent leave?
    Out of the doorway the game's R.I.P.
    To the sound of costs cut
    Look out!
    I see it completely different. You make it sound like Blizzard isn’t hiring, but that’s not the case.
    New people are always good, they bring fresh ideas and see things from another perspective.
  1. panda040's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Santti View Post
    I can totally understand leaving. Blizzard is a huge triple-A company now. It's priorities has shifted to pleasing the shareholders. No doubt Blizzard has the same abuses towards video game developers all triple-A's have. As in, the absolutely ridiculous crunches, with shit pay. Some more creative and maybe more adventurous developers probably get tired of it. Dreamhaven is likely quite enticing, because of it. A change of scenery. A fresh start. With familiar people.
    kinda makes valve really interesting. That is to say they don't really have "deadlines" that stress out devs to create games. They have the steam store as their main revenue so they aren't hindered by content creation generally.
  1. Koward's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by panda040 View Post
    kinda makes valve really interesting. That is to say they don't really have "deadlines" that stress out devs to create games. They have the steam store as their main revenue so they aren't hindered by content creation generally.
    Well, the result is that they do not release many games. I think thanks to Steam it's not their main activity, so the push does not "need" to be as hard as Activision Blizzard.
  1. RobertMugabe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mic_128 View Post
    Another one leaves Blizzard
    Another one leaves Blizzard
    And another one gone, and another one gone
    Another one leaves Blizzard, yeah
    Hey, they're gonna leave Blizz too
    Another one leaves Blizzard

    How do you think they're going to make games
    Without devs, when they're gone
    They took us for everything that we had
    And made devs quit on their own
    Are you happy, are you satisfied?
    How long til all the talent leave?
    Out of the doorway the game's R.I.P.
    To the sound of costs cut
    Look out!
    TBH this is pretty normal. I am also a software developer at a large company and people change positions or leave the company all the time, including people that have worked for a very long time and those that you'd least expect it (such as people in very high positions). 99% of the time the reason for them leaving are quite normal and personal, like they got a fresh and better paid job offer somewhere else, they don't want to give another raise anymore, got bored of doing the same thing for 15 years, have moved, change of lifestyle etc. etc.

    Usually when someone leaves due to some "drama" or is dissatisfied with the company or something else, those are almost always people that aren't as much involved in the company and have rather normal jobs.
  1. relaxok's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Santti View Post
    I can totally understand leaving. Blizzard is a huge triple-A company now. It's priorities has shifted to pleasing the shareholders. No doubt Blizzard has the same abuses towards video game developers all triple-A's have. As in, the absolutely ridiculous crunches, with shit pay. Some more creative and maybe more adventurous developers probably get tired of it. Dreamhaven is likely quite enticing, because of it. A change of scenery. A fresh start. With familiar people.
    Blizzard has been owned by another company and publicly traded and beholden to shareholders since 1996.

    The merger with Activision started in 2007 during TBC.

    This idea that things are ‘different now’ is bizarre.
  1. Belloc's Avatar
    I can't wait for Ion to leave and join one of these Blizzard offshoots. This community will be so confused on how to respond.
  1. Voodoototem's Avatar
    Sire Denath, Blood Kael´thas new Avatars would be sick.
  1. Santti's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by relaxok View Post
    Blizzard has been owned by another company and publicly traded and beholden to shareholders since 1996.

    The merger with Activision started in 2007 during TBC.

    This idea that things are ‘different now’ is bizarre.
    When I said "now", I didn't literally mean right meow. I'm well aware Blizzard has been a huge company for long time now (doh?).
  1. Lothaeryn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by relaxok View Post
    Blizzard has been owned by another company and publicly traded and beholden to shareholders since 1996.

    The merger with Activision started in 2007 during TBC.

    This idea that things are ‘different now’ is bizarre.
    Yes, and policies change over time, its called standard business as usual.

    Policies that existed under Vivendi's ownership are not equal to policies under Activision/Blizzard.

    And considering the majority of the old guard seemingly decided to all retire/quit within that same 10 year span after the merger should be more revealing than dismissive of how policy shift has affected staff productivity and more importantly, morale.
  1. otaXephon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by relaxok View Post
    Blizzard has been owned by another company and publicly traded and beholden to shareholders since 1996.

    The merger with Activision started in 2007 during TBC.

    This idea that things are ‘different now’ is bizarre.
    Hey dude, Bellular said it on YouTube. You mean to tell me somebody would just, like, go on the internet and tell lies?
  1. S2H's Avatar
    $5 they have a ton of these new portraits ready and armed for when they have to say even more bad news.

    Oh wait its not $5, its $77.94 and you get a mount that could have been added to the game too (for free)!
  1. Pebrocks The Warlock's Avatar
    Does WoW really need a dev that wastes time on projects like Classic?
  1. Redroniksre's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by otaXephon View Post
    Hey dude, Bellular said it on YouTube. You mean to tell me somebody would just, like, go on the internet and tell lies?
    Even worse, tell lies?! for money?!

    On topic though, sad to see him go. Not the biggest classic fan, but that guy had some energy.

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