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 201 Comments
  1. Wangming's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Belloc View Post
    I love how everyone in the community is an expert on internal Blizzard development hierarchy.

    Spoiler alert: Blizzard has specifically told us that it doesn't work the way you and everyone else seems to think it does. You'll forgive me for trusting the people who should know over the people who clearly don't know shit.
    Do you have a sauce for that, or are you calling, in your own words, everyone else stupid. Maybe I'm wrong, it happens quite often, but I do believe that when I say something and everyone else says the opposite, by beliefs need to be reviewed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kodemonkee View Post
    It's funny to read this thread, looks like not many people here have a job or even worked in a media related job. I am working in advertising agencies for 14 years now and people leave and people come. Mostly people leave after 1 year max 2 years, but this guy was there for over a decade so this is something special. I bet when people start and build up a company there is some sort of magic but it fades away especially for him. This is nothing new.
    So which one is it? Nothing new or something special? Clearly you are trying to make a point, but for that you need to decide.
  1. FelPlague's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Depakote View Post
    love how you cant read the article you link.
    yes, everything they said was true.
  1. Monstafish2k's Avatar
    Kids say "need ah-ah" for "need to poop" and that would be AA... so AAA = poop on top of poop, in short: pile of shit? That accurately describes what those so called AAA companies are... look at their games.
    The future lies in the Indie Games category, the real tripple A game devs. Knowing this its no surprise for good devs to leave a pile of shit and join a smaller game dev company like Dreamhaven. I cant wait for Dreamhaven to announce their first game but that will take at least a year i think :/

    After WC3 - Refunded i am not expecting ANYTHING from Blizzard. Blizzard and many other companies are to focused on short term gains and then they act surprised why investors dont like to invest long term into their companies... i mean what idiot would do a long term investment into a companies which is focusing on short term gains? That would be stupid.
  1. shadycharacter1's Avatar
    Hope it works out for them, would like to see more passion projects appear, like Escape from Tarkov, even if they're not perfect. AAA gaming is pure cancer
  1. Nightstalker's Avatar
    Watch the South Park Wall Mart episode to see what will happen to Dreamhaven and whatever else. Either become irrelevant or repeat the cycle. You can't keep the investors out.
    Also: Can someone confirm if Kevin Jordan has a Hate-Boner for Ion or rather despises him?

    The problem with situations like the one with Omar are imo the black-pilled nostalgia fanatics. They instantly develop a cult of personality around every (former) Blizzard employee that isn't instantly tied to the ATVI business model.
  1. Belloc's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Wangming View Post
    Do you have a sauce for that, or are you calling, in your own words, everyone else stupid. Maybe I'm wrong, it happens quite often, but I do believe that when I say something and everyone else says the opposite, by beliefs need to be reviewed.
    Unfortunately I have neither the time nor the inclination to source something said during the days when everything said about Ion was being said about Ghostcrawler.
  1. Nynax's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Wangming View Post
    So which one is it? Nothing new or something special? Clearly you are trying to make a point, but for that you need to decide.
    That anyone stays at a company for 10 years in this day and age is something special. The fact that someone will eventually want to move on to something else is nothing new. They are not mutually exclusive concepts.
  1. Edward Wu's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nightstalker View Post
    Watch the South Park Wall Mart episode to see what will happen to Dreamhaven and whatever else. Either become irrelevant or repeat the cycle. You can't keep the investors out.
    Also: Can someone confirm if Kevin Jordan has a Hate-Boner for Ion or rather despises him?

    The problem with situations like the one with Omar are imo the black-pilled nostalgia fanatics. They instantly develop a cult of personality around every (former) Blizzard employee that isn't instantly tied to the ATVI business model.
    You can easily keep investors out by never going public. Blizzard never had a chance from the get-go, they were always owned by someone above them, whether that was Games Workshop, or Vivendi, or Activision their most recent owner.
  1. Wangming's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Belloc View Post
    Unfortunately I have neither the time nor the inclination to source something said during the days when everything said about Ion was being said about Ghostcrawler.
    So you neither willing nor able to give a source to your claims so we should just accept that what was true for a Lead Systems Designer who left 8 years ago, is true for a Game Director now?

    Call me stubborn but I hope you can forgive me for continuing to doubt your point.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nynax View Post
    That anyone stays at a company for 10 years in this day and age is something special. The fact that someone will eventually want to move on to something else is nothing new. They are not mutually exclusive concepts.
    Yeah that sounds more like proper english. He spent a lot of time here, but wants to do something else. Doesn't mean WoW will die exactly now though.
  1. Jericho21's Avatar
    Aside from WowC losing an accredited dev, um, who cares? WoW has been in the toilet for years now (but we all still sub to it!) and the mass exodus of Devs leaving proves either Blizzard being owned by Activision was a mistake or the Devs' ideas and direction for WoW/other IPs dried up and they suck for it. I believe it's the 1st option.
  1. rhorle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jericho21 View Post
    Aside from WowC losing an accredited dev, um, who cares? WoW has been in the toilet for years now (but we all still sub to it!) and the mass exodus of Devs leaving proves either Blizzard being owned by Activision was a mistake or the Devs' ideas and direction for WoW/other IPs dried up and they suck for it. I believe it's the 1st option.
    Blizzard wasn't owned by Activision until 2013. Vivendi owned both Activision and Blizzard when the merger first took place in 2008. People need to stop using Activision as a scapegoat and just realize that Blizzard is to blame for Blizzard. People move on all of the time but it is only in more recent years that people are all hyper aware of every little detail and look for ways to use it as a doom and gloom the sky is failing type of indicator for a company.

    Blizzard release more IP's/games under Activision then they did under Vivendi (pre-activision merger) and Davidson and Associates prior to Vivendi. (There have been a few others inbetween Davidson and Vivendi but they weren't that noteworthy and just a string of owners from bankruptcy/stuff).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightstalker View Post
    Watch the South Park Wall Mart episode to see what will happen to Dreamhaven and whatever else. Either become irrelevant or repeat the cycle. You can't keep the investors out.
    You are not required to take a company public. Investors exist with or without the company being traded on a public exchange. I highly doubt Mr. Morhaime and his wife has bankrolled the entire thing though it is entirely possible since his net worth is like $2 billion.
  1. Jericho21's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rhorle View Post
    Blizzard wasn't owned by Activision until 2013. Vivendi owned both Activision and Blizzard when the merger first took place in 2008. People need to stop using Activision as a scapegoat and just realize that Blizzard is to blame for Blizzard. People move on all of the time but it is only in more recent years that people are all hyper aware of every little detail and look for ways to use it as a doom and gloom the sky is failing type of indicator for a company.

    Blizzard release more IP's/games under Activision then they did under Vivendi (pre-activision merger) and Davidson and Associates prior to Vivendi. (There have been a few others inbetween Davidson and Vivendi but they weren't that noteworthy and just a string of owners from bankruptcy/stuff).

    - - - Updated - - -



    You are not required to take a company public. Investors exist with or without the company being traded on a public exchange. I highly doubt Mr. Morhaime and his wife has bankrolled the entire thing though it is entirely possible since his net worth is like $2 billion.
    I've been on this WoW ride since 2004 Beta4. Ian Kaplan, et al were paramount to WoW's success. They left. Who's "in charge"? A dude that was a player at one point and became a Dev (iirc on my timeline here). I actually liked Cataclysm, luke warm on Mists, yawned at WoD, leaked Legion but loved it, so-so on BfA, kinda burned out on SL but enjoying WoWC instead.

    The utter stark contrast between Vanilla WoW and WoW now is very unsettling. Yes Vivendi owned Blizzard and then they mutally parted ways and Blizzard was on its own for a bit before this Activision "merger" happened. Blizzard I believe was putting out Mists at that time, could be end of Wrath/beginning of Cataclysm. As I stated in a TBC Classic thread, Wrath was the pinnacle of WoW Raiding and player experience, imo. After that WoW took a serious nosedive. I even took a break during Cata (played SWTOR) and I came back for Mists.

    Even after this merger, it was fine and even Blizzard said "we march to our own drumbeat, not Activisions". That seems to be a cop out and BS statement because important devs do not just friggin leave a company they helped build into a powerhouse IP maker unless they're being pushed out because of whatever reason(s). So no sir/ma'am/them, I utter blame Activision for our recent downward spiral on WoW content and Lore post-Legion. Legion seemed to be the money-shot the "real" Blizzard wanted to give to players before shit went downhill. Metzen left post-Legion (sure, due to back issues but still, dude left and started his own company). The last chip to fall that should have confirmed to everyone with a heartbeat that Blizzard was taking marching orders from Activision is when Morhaime left.

    Morhaime utterly loved Blizzard and its IPs. He was the CEO (right?) of Blizzard and then, poof, he fuckin leaves to create his own company and IP. Sure that was somewhat recent but BFA is laid at the feet of Activision for the atrocity that it was. SL seems to be going the same way.
  1. rhorle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jericho21 View Post
    The utter stark contrast between Vanilla WoW and WoW now is very unsettling. Yes Vivendi owned Blizzard and then they mutally parted ways and Blizzard was on its own for a bit before this Activision "merger" happened. Blizzard I believe was putting out Mists at that time, could be end of Wrath/beginning of Cataclysm. As I stated in a TBC Classic thread, Wrath was the pinnacle of WoW Raiding and player experience, imo. After that WoW took a serious nosedive. I even took a break during Cata (played SWTOR) and I came back for Mists.
    Wrong. Vivendi owned Blizzard and Activision up until 2013 when Activision-Blizzard bought ownership control from Vivendi. Vivendi is who merged their games department with Activision. Activision came was merged into vivendi in 2008 which is WotLk era and way before MoP. Activision isn't the cause of the downward spiral Blizzard is. Stop looking for a scapegoat to hold a company up on a pedestal.

    Also it is Jeff Kaplan or Ion Hazzikostas. Lol. For someone that name drops their beta status you sure don't really understand a lot about the company or even who the integral employees were. Weird right? You are more focused on blaming Activision then maybe blaming the people at Blizzard that created what you call terrible products and a downward spiral. You really are just the typical run of the mill jaded player.

    People retire. Creative people often still do what they love when that happens. People do it all the time across all types of industries so it isn't surprising that people that worked years at a gaming company would "retire" to form their own new ones that they can do whatever on their own schedule. It also allows a person to create brand new stuff not constrained by an existing company.

    Of the 3 founders only 1 still works at Blizzard. And that founder returned to the company in 2016. People change over time and there has been no mass exodus like you keep referring to. Of course people will leave if they get better job offers. Or want to do something else with the money they've earned over the years.
  1. Jericho21's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rhorle View Post
    Wrong. Vivendi owned Blizzard and Activision up until 2013 when Activision-Blizzard bought ownership control from Vivendi. Vivendi is who merged their games department with Activision. Activision came was merged into vivendi in 2008 which is WotLk era and way before MoP. Activision isn't the cause of the downward spiral Blizzard is. Stop looking for a scapegoat to hold a company up on a pedestal.

    Also it is Jeff Kaplan or Ion Hazzikostas. Lol. For someone that name drops their beta status you sure don't really understand a lot about the company or even who the integral employees were. Weird right? You are more focused on blaming Activision then maybe blaming the people at Blizzard that created what you call terrible products and a downward spiral. You really are just the typical run of the mill jaded player.

    People retire. Creative people often still do what they love when that happens. People do it all the time across all types of industries so it isn't surprising that people that worked years at a gaming company would "retire" to form their own new ones that they can do whatever on their own schedule. It also allows a person to create brand new stuff not constrained by an existing company.

    Of the 3 founders only 1 still works at Blizzard. And that founder returned to the company in 2016. People change over time and there has been no mass exodus like you keep referring to. Of course people will leave if they get better job offers. Or want to do something else with the money they've earned over the years.

    Eh, 2 founders are there. Allen Adham and Frank Pearce, so if you wanna correct me, get your facts straight.

    Secondly, my memory was a little foggy on the Vivendi/Universal company buyout and the timing of it. But I still stand by my statement of Activision being "hands off" for a few years until recently when they "obviously" started throwing their weight around and making ultimate decisions for Blizzard.

    Jeff Kaplan I name dropped because he and his group made Vanilla WoW (and TBC) the powerhouse WoW was. Ion Hazzifuckwad had pooch screwed this game into the ground. His prior to Blizzard "experience"? He was a fucking lawyer in DC. Now to actually correct myself, Jeff Kaplan didn't leave Blizzard but is actually a VP there and Game Director of Overwatch (shudder).

    And yeah, I kinda know my business when it comes to WoW. My memory might be fuzzy on mergers and times it happened but people involved with the game in any state or form I know pretty well (not personally but I know about them). Jeff Kaplan was a gaming God when WoW went nuts. But he made Titan (now Overwatch) and it's been his baby ever since it came out. He doesn't make overarching decisions on WoW or its path, that's Ion Fuckwaddicus. I would definitely slap Ion with a wet fish for his decisions on WoW.

    But again, Ion is in the position he's in because the ppl before him left and didnt' want to do Activision's bidding. Ion gladly does.

    Now if you cannot see the points I've made, and agree that they have merit as I have made yours merit as well (the merger and buyout) then please don't respond in your snarky, arrogant tone.
  1. otaXephon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jericho21 View Post
    Eh, 2 founders are there. Allen Adham and Frank Pearce, so if you wanna correct me, get your facts straight.

    Secondly, my memory was a little foggy on the Vivendi/Universal company buyout and the timing of it. But I still stand by my statement of Activision being "hands off" for a few years until recently when they "obviously" started throwing their weight around and making ultimate decisions for Blizzard.

    Jeff Kaplan I name dropped because he and his group made Vanilla WoW (and TBC) the powerhouse WoW was. Ion Hazzifuckwad had pooch screwed this game into the ground. His prior to Blizzard "experience"? He was a fucking lawyer in DC. Now to actually correct myself, Jeff Kaplan didn't leave Blizzard but is actually a VP there and Game Director of Overwatch (shudder).

    And yeah, I kinda know my business when it comes to WoW. My memory might be fuzzy on mergers and times it happened but people involved with the game in any state or form I know pretty well (not personally but I know about them). Jeff Kaplan was a gaming God when WoW went nuts. But he made Titan (now Overwatch) and it's been his baby ever since it came out. He doesn't make overarching decisions on WoW or its path, that's Ion Fuckwaddicus. I would definitely slap Ion with a wet fish for his decisions on WoW.

    But again, Ion is in the position he's in because the ppl before him left and didnt' want to do Activision's bidding. Ion gladly does.

    Now if you cannot see the points I've made, and agree that they have merit as I have made yours merit as well (the merger and buyout) then please don't respond in your snarky, arrogant tone.
    Yeah dude, you figured it all out! Ion's sitting upon his haughty iron thorne atop Castle Blizzard Headquarters twirling his cartoonishly evil mustache while BAD ACTIVISION feeds him their bidding. I'm pretty sure he has a Cheshire Cat that whispers the least popular ideas into his head while he sleeps, too.
  1. rhorle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jericho21 View Post
    Eh, 2 founders are there. Allen Adham and Frank Pearce, so if you wanna correct me, get your facts straight.
    https://news.blizzard.com/en-us/bliz...-j-allen-brack

    You were saying? I know the facts here. Your memory isn't just foggy it is super inaccurate. Universal has nothing to do with Vivendi or the merger of Vivendi Games and Activision. Vivendi owns Universal Music Group but that again has nothing to do with the merger. Ion being a lawyer doesn't mean much since Ghostcrawler was a Marine Biologist and Jeff Kaplan was focused on film and creative writing.

    You haven't made any points of merit though. You keep whining about X person screwing everything up or X company screwing everything up which are not points but complaints. You keep putting forth the basic jaded player responses and "Classic is better" player responses and expect to be taken seriously because of it.
  1. Jericho21's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rhorle View Post
    https://news.blizzard.com/en-us/bliz...-j-allen-brack

    You were saying? I know the facts here. Your memory isn't just foggy it is super inaccurate. Universal has nothing to do with Vivendi or the merger of Vivendi Games and Activision. Vivendi owns Universal Music Group but that again has nothing to do with the merger. Ion being a lawyer doesn't mean much since Ghostcrawler was a Marine Biologist and Jeff Kaplan was focused on film and creative writing.

    You haven't made any points of merit though. You keep whining about X person screwing everything up or X company screwing everything up which are not points but complaints. You keep putting forth the basic jaded player responses and "Classic is better" player responses and expect to be taken seriously because of it.
    And your responses as is the other person that thought it cute to quote-reply me as well decided to just troll. That's cool. I mean, that's what discussions are for but if you wanna discuss in troll form I suggest going to Parler or whatever platform you deserve.

    My points were made, you made fair counterpoints to which I relented and gave you credit for and yet still you decide to troll. I dunno if you're just being rude by intent or you really truly are that way. Grow up. It's a civil discussion and you made your counterpoints to which I responded and then you responded with trolling and name calling. I'm not jaded in the fact that I think Vanilla WoW is by far the most superior product Blizzard put out. No I think that's TBC followed by Wrath. And anyone that says they feel like something is better for them doesn't make them a whiny jaded player. That makes it so they have an opinion. I personally don't like ASUS products because I've had bad dealings with their products, does that make me jaded towards them?
  1. FelPlague's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nightstalker View Post
    Watch the South Park Wall Mart episode to see what will happen to Dreamhaven and whatever else. Either become irrelevant or repeat the cycle. You can't keep the investors out.
    Also: Can someone confirm if Kevin Jordan has a Hate-Boner for Ion or rather despises him?

    The problem with situations like the one with Omar are imo the black-pilled nostalgia fanatics. They instantly develop a cult of personality around every (former) Blizzard employee that isn't instantly tied to the ATVI business model.
    What episode/season?
    they mention walmart a couple times.
    nvm found it. was literally like the last 45 seconds of this. https://youtu.be/Hq7ysA7agNE
  1. leviathonlx's Avatar
    I always like the 'world is ending' type posts when a dev leaves especially with references to Activision. Funnily enough they never remember all the devs that left between 04-06 but that's probably since none of the companies those devs made still exist. There's no guarantee Dreamhaven won't end up the same way since making games takes more than ideas.
  1. Honeyprime's Avatar
    I was wondering who and how many would leave Blizzard to join Mike.

    I'm actually keeping an eye on what Mike is doing. So far I find it interesting.

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