WoW Developers Leave Blizzard and Start Red5

Looks like some devs, an art guy and an exec have left Blizzard to start their own company called Red5. Could explain the lack of big patches for WoW. On the other hand, the first WoW expansion is supposed to be announced at the upcoming BlizzCon in October.

This isn’t the first time original devs have split from a MMORPG company to start their own. But in Sigil Games Online’s case, Brad McQuaid and Jeff Butler were inarguably the key folks behind EverQuest’s design and development. Many argue that WoW’s success had a lot to do with the Blizzard franchise.

Here’s the press release from Red5:

“World of Warcraft” Veterans Launch Online Gaming Company

ALISO VIEJO, CA — Mark Kern, William Petras, and Taewon Yun, key developers and executives behind Blizzard Entertainment’s hit “World of Warcraft,” have announced the formation of Red 5 Studios, Inc.

Based in Aliso Veijo, California, the new company will focus on creating massively-multiplayer online entertainment — a gaming genre that’s now a global sensation.

“Our work on World of Warcraft has really opened up people’s eyes to the potential of online gaming in huge, persistent worlds,” says Kern. “We want to continue to shape the future of online gaming by tapping into new worldwide trends and pushing the limits of our creativity.”

Kern, Petras and Yun are all former Blizzard veterans. Mark Kern was Team Lead for World of Warcraft, and William Petras was Art Director on the project. Taewon Yun helped found Blizzard Korea where he was responsible of World of Warcraft’s launch and operations in Asia. Together they have over 30 years of experience developing and launching hit games such as Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo.

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